Dirt School: The Derek Laughland Memorial Award Returns for 2020!

Dirt School: The Derek Laughland Memorial Award Returns for 2020!

We’re proud to announce our continued involvement with the Derek Laughland Memorial Award for a third year, taking another two young passionate riders under our wing and providing them with £500 worth of Dirt School vouchers to be used for technical coaching sessions. New for this year, we’re also offering a prize for a selected cycling club – a full days coaching with Dirt School for 12 young riders – allowing even more youngsters to reap the benefits of this generous prize. 

The Derek Laughland Memorial Award was set up after the tragic passing of a much-loved husband and father, due to a brain haemorrhage at the Scottish Enduro Series in October 2017. His family took comfort in the fact Derek was doing what he loved, and the Derek Laughland Memorial Award was born.

Derek absolutely loved riding and racing his bike and was much loved within the mountain bike community and enduro scene always being seen with a smile on his face. The Derek Laughland Memorial prize does an excellent job of capturing Derek’s legacy.

Derek Laughland in Torridon
Previously, the award has been directed at the young racing community in conjunction with No Fuss Events, very fitting given Derek’s love for competing on the Scottish Enduro scene. However, as things are a little different this year with racing being a bit uncertain over the coming months, the Laughland’s are opening the award up to any young rider, with any goal, to keep the inspiration for riding bikes at an all time high and continue to share Derek’s love for the sport.

If you’re a young rider aged under 18 or representing a group of under 18s through a cycling club and would like to apply for the award this year, we’re now taking applications. Please answer the following questions through our comments section at the bottom of this page to be in for a chance of being selected by the Laughland family…

Young Male and Female Rider (under 18)

  1. Your age, location and length of time riding
  2. What do you love about riding your bike?
  3. How will the Derek Laughland Memorial Award benefit you?

You must have permission from your parent/guardian to enter.

Cycling Clubs

  1. Please give us a little bit of background info on your club
  2. How will the Derek Laughland Memorial Award benefit the young riders in your club?

Applications close at 6pm on Monday 12th October, with winners being announced at 6pm on Wednesday 14th October. Once a winner has been selected applications will be published publicly to share everyone’s inspiration and love for riding bikes.

Good luck!

Derek Laughland Memorial Award at Innerleithen


  • Josh Findlay

    Hi my name is Josh Findlay, I am 11 years old tomorrow and I stay in East Lothian. I spend every weekend at Innerleithen and ride locally during the week. I have been riding bikes since I was 8 years old and love it more and more each year. I am really keen to progress my abilities and hope to be a professional rider in future.
    The things I love most about biking is getting up into the hills above Innerleithen as many times as i can in a week with my Dad and then getting to ride some of the most amazing trails all the way to the bottom and then going back up to do it all again.
    I have learned lots from riding with more experienced riders but I have never had professional coaching before. I think that the Dereck Laughland memorial award would benefit me a lot and set me on the right path to a life of riding. I ride with a group of friends and we encourage each other to progress our skills.
    I would love to be coached by dirt school as I have heard a lot of good things from other people who have been lucky enough to be coached by them.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  • Phoebe Gale

    My name is Phoebe Gale, I am 16 years old and I live near Hawick in the Scottish Borders. I have been riding bikes since I was 3 and competing since I was 9 years old. I love riding by bike because I love competing but I also like riding with friends and getting out into the wild. The Derek Laughland Memorial Trust would help me achieve my goal of becoming World Champion. I would love to develop my weaknesses so that I can ride faster and get where I want to be!

  • Clydesdale Colts (c/o Stuart Rae)

    Our riders are members of The Clydesdale Colts Cycling Club, based in South Lanarkshire. The club has over 160 junior members, and a long waiting list – its aim is to introduce young people to cycle sport, and all members are under 18.  For the past 3 years The Clydesdale Colts have had quad teams take part in the Strathpuffer, the annual 24 hour mountain bike endurance event held in the Highlands of Scotland in the middle of winter. Last year 3 teams took part, and a Clydesdale Colts teams won the mixed Quad category, a category which includes adult teams. Every year, the live action is shared with our members, and inspire our younger Colts to ride and race. This year, 4 Clydesdale Colts Teams have entered. The riders train several times per week, often at Chatelherault where we coach, and in conditions which mimic the Strathpuffer course as closely as possible- gravel tracks, steep climbs, steep descents, and in inclement conditions. The Strathpuffer course itself is renowned not just as a great test of endurance, but also of skills. In order to bolster the technical skills needed, we feel that either of the Derek Laughland Memorial Awards would be of benefit. However, in particular, the offer for a day of Dirt School coaching for 12 young riders would help our riders enormously, both in developing skills, and also their performance as a team riding together. We would be grateful if you would consider the Clydesdale Colts for this award.

  • Fraser Paterson

    My name is Fraser Paterson, I live in Banchory in Aberdeenshire. I’m 13 and have been riding with Deeside Thistle Cycling Club for 4 years but have always loved riding my bike. There’s so much I love about being out on my mountain bike. There’s a sense of freedom being outside in the fresh air which felt even better during lockdown when I was out for my daily exercise. Biking is such a social activity. I love riding with others and have made lots of new friendships attending races. My favourite races are the Highland Hardline mini downhill and I have also ridden Doon tha Brae enduros where I have been lucky enough to win the youth category twice. I like getting out and looking for new trails and places to ride so that I can push myself harder, learn new skills and try to get better at what I love doing. If I were lucky enough to win the award then the Dirt School coaching would help me do exactly that. I attended one of their Advanced Academy courses last year and learned so much from the coaches. I’m lucky enough to be heading there again this week so that I can learn even more and hopefully get even better. There’s a great sense of achievement when you learn a new skill that you can use when you’re out on your bike and especially when pushing yourself during a race. £500 of Dirt School coaching could take my riding and enjoyment of my bike to another level that I can’t even properly imagine. My club coaches have taken my riding as far as they can, but I really want to go further. Biking is my passion, it is what makes me happy and gets me through the boredom of school, knowing that when I get home I can go out for a ride. I am lucky that my parents fully support me and have invested so much in my riding from buying me a great bike,the maintenance costs, driving me to club rides and weekends away for races which are always at least 3 hours away. This Dirt school coaching sessions would hopefully improve my riding and help me achieve better race results in the highly competitive U14 age group which would make me so happy and my parents proud.

  • FInin

    I am 15, I am from the south east of England and have been riding for about 2 years. I love the sense of freedom I get when I’m on my bike. The award would help me to get fast enough to the pace where I can start racing.

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