The Camanachd Association was delighted to meet with Joe FitzPatrick, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing last week at the Tulloch Trophy.
The Tulloch Trophy is a primary school event which sees shinty teams from schools across Scotland come together for short 10-minute matches against each team in the competition. At the end of the competition two sides were tied in 1st place, Inverlochy and Newtonmore. It went to a tense penalty shoot-out but the Inverlochy Goalkeeper and Captain produced the heroics as the Lochaber side won the day.
Mr FitzPatrick was treated to exceptional shinty from the youngsters on show who came from Tighnabruich to Portree and a few places in between before he met with the Badenoch Shinty Memories Group to discuss the powerful work that they are doing. For those who somehow have not heard of the project, Shinty Memories Scotland is an umbrella organization that encompasses all the groups throughout the country that are currently using old shinty memorabilia and photographs in order to aid the most vulnerable in society.
It originated as a project to help those with dementia with their recall, communication and self-esteem. Following dramatic initial success, the project’s reach has been widened in order to service those with depression, remoteness and the loneliness that often comes with these issues. By connecting people to their community through memories of shinty, this project has helped to battle social isolation.
In addition to discussions with the Badenoch Shinty Memories Group, Mr FitzPatrick held positive talks with Camanachd Association CEO, Derek Keir and President, Keith Loades. In these talks the Camanachd Association set out its vision for growing Scotland’s most historic sport over the coming years and we look forward to further talks concerning the delivery of said objectives.
Following the talks Derek Keir, CEO has said:
“It was a great experience to meet the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing today in Kingussie. We were able to put forward our ideas and goals to grow our sport and these were enthusiastically engaged with by the minister. I am eager to hold further meetings with not only Mr FitzPatrick but also ministerial colleagues as we look to fortify and further shinty’s position in Scotland as a sport but also as an experience that people in Scotland and people visiting Scotland should experience.”
The support of government and government agencies such as SportScotland is essential to the growth and development of what is Scotland’s most culturally significant sport.