How are the Club responding to the current serious challenging situation?
The lockdown has had a devastating impact with the club effectively closing it down. There has been no Club activity in terms of coaching, training or playing at all age groups levels in almost four months. Our weekly lottery has been suspended until further notice as have our weekly club meetings. We have managed to continue with pitch maintenance and thanks to the dedication of the team involved and the purchase of 3 new gangs for our mower our pitch has rarely looked better.
We are making preparations within Phase 3 for a return to Shinty activities with completion of the Club Readiness Checklist and Risk Management & Assessment documents.
The lockdown has been a frustrating time for the players and coaches and brought to an abrupt end a promising pre-season.
Accordingly, it has been difficult in terms of motivation for the players although the setting up of a Strava group has been a great help. The group has been entered into with enthusiasm by the players and committee members. All age groups are represented with particularly good participation by the under 14 and under 17 players. At junior/primary level a weekly challenge mounted on Facebook has been a really successful feature and more recently the National School Sport Week at Home initiative has also been adopted by the club.
We have a popular Facebook page and a couple of Whats App groups - one for the players and one for the Committee. Both social media platforms have been extremely useful and have worked very well. Similarly, we have had two committee meetings using the MS Teams video conferencing system. This has been very successful. Currently we are working with the CA to finalise our application for the Silver Award in the Club Accreditation scheme.
Discussions about how the club could make a meaningful contribution to the local community during the lockdown led to a collaboration with a local charity called Beauly Cares, a group which focuses on the welfare of senior citizens in the area. It was decided to launch a Strava challenge which involved cycling, running or walking the equivalent distance of all our away matches in the 2020 season in the MOWI National Division a distance of 1175 miles over a 24 hour period. A £1,000 fundraising target was set. The whole event proved hugely successful with the distance target easily beaten and a magnificent sum of £3,050 raised. The picture below taken by shinty lensman Neil Paterson shows the cheque being handed over to George Borland chair of Beauly Cares.
We are hugely dependent on our sponsors both the folks who provide the strips to the various teams and also the companies who buy into our pitch-side banner scheme. There has been no exposure for any of these companies and particularly difficult for our first team shirt sponsor The Priory Hotel which has been closed since the beginning of the lockdown. Luckily, the Priory Hotel has partially reopened now and I'm sure in due course we will see people flocking back to the hotel. CV Components who are our ball sponsor have managed to remain open but business activity has been reduced.
We were constituted in 1892 and have over the years won all the sport’s major trophies. Our most recent successes at National level came in 2015 when we won the Balliemore Cup and in 2018 when we won the under 14 Ken MacMaster trophy.