Published: 30th Nov 2023 Images: Scottish Cycling

Steve Donaldson awarded Badge of Honour

At our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 25th November, we were delighted to award Steve Donaldson the Scottish Cycling Badge of Honour.

The Badge of Honour recognises the contribution and achievement of individuals who have shown exceptional dedication, made a remarkable contribution or given an outstanding performance, through a lifetime dedicated to the sport of cycling in Scotland. Simply put, it is the highest accolade Scottish Cycling can award.

Steve is a an extremely worthy recipient, rubbing shoulders with a number of inspirational individuals who have gone before him; 2022 saw the Badge of Honour awarded to Rita Montgomery and Rab Wardell, who need no introduction.

An inspirational figure, both to those who know him personally, and those who simply know his story, Steve is a kind and extremely generous man who supports cycling extensively in Ayrshire and the Southwest. A strong cyclist as a youngster, Steve first suffered chest pains aged 18, but it wasn’t until 2010, aged 48, that he received successful heart transplant surgery, saving his life.

Since then Steve has gone on to compete and win medals at the World and European Transplant Games, but very rarely is it about him. There have been plenty of stories online about Steve’s achievements, but more often than not the focus of what Steve is saying is on those who saved his life, and what he is now doing to give back, such a leading charity rides and raising awareness of the need for more donors. He is just as committed to the cycling community in the west, often forgoing his own ride to time keep at Georgetown or Loans TTs, as well as lending equipment to others to help them in their pursuits. Steve’s ‘never give up attitude’, and his commitment to giving back, make him a worthy recipient of the Scottish Cycling Badge of Honour.

Unfortunately Steve was overseas at the time of our 2023 AGM, but did send us a wonderful video message that was played to those present at Crieff Hydro. In it, he said:

“When I was told I’d be nominated for the Scottish Cycling Badge of Honour I was gobsmacked. But then to be actually told I’d been awarded this prestigious honour it was just out of this world, unreal. To be even mentioned in the same sentence as previous awardees as Rab, Katie, Pippa, Big Aldo, is just unbelievable and I really thank you for this fantastic, prestigious award.

“For me to actually be here, there are some people I have to thank, starting with the Fullarton Wheelers who dragged me back out on bike, got me fit, and helped me fall back in love with my bike. The there’s the GB Transplant Cycling Team who gave me the opportunity to travel the world, ride my bike and represent Great Britain. The there’s the Golden Jubilee [hospital] down at Clydebank. They put me back together again and they continually look after me and that I really appreciate.

“My biggest hero is an unknown hero, the guy and the family who said yes to organ donation. Without that gift of life, I just wouldn’t be here. For that, I’m truly, truly thankful.

“I’m now following the best advice I’ve ever been given and that was from my late wife Linda. She told me just to go out, enjoy life, ride my bike and have fun. And if me, doing this, with my carpe diem way of living inspires others, to get on and do things that they’ve been putting off, that’s a bonus.”

We look forward to presenting Steve with his gold badge at the velodrome once he is back in Scotland.