How are the Club responding to the current serious challenging situation?
While everyone at the club are disappointed that the season has had to be cancelled the players are feeling the lack of shinty most of all. For many players shinty is a way of life and to have it taken out of their lives so suddenly with no idea if or when it will return has been difficult to understand. However, the safety of everyone is of paramount priority so the measures taken have the full support of all Kilmallie players.
At the beginning of the shut down several players participated in a social media exercise whereby individual players were asked to select the best twelve players that they had played with, this kept players and those attached to the club interested while everyone adjusted to no games being played.
Formal training was suspended but several players have continued to train on their own. It is hoped to restart formal training across all sectors as soon as the restrictions are lifted and allow this. Due to retirement and long term injuries several young players will be introduced to the first team when play resumes. As a club we anticipate a challenging season ahead. We look forward to meeting that challenge. The Club have been following the Camanachd Association Prepare Your Club - Phase 3 advice and have prepared a Club Readiness Checklist and Risk Management & Assessment documents.
We could always do with more club members. We are currently standing at 93 across all sectors. The club board has 17 members (6 female and 11 male) All board members have a specific remit. Volunteers assist the club with fund raising.
The Kilmallie community consists of Corpach, Banavie and Caol. The principle industry in the aforementioned areas is the Sawmill were a number of our players work. Several of them have been furloughed and will be anxious to return to work. During the shut down Kilmallie lost a club stalwart, Ann MacMillan served the club as a first aider for several years Kilmallie players and board members lined the cortage route on the day of her funeral.
Bowmans are the club main sponsors which is performance related. Regretfully, as we have not played any competitions we will not receive any sponsorship money this year. In addition to the main sponsor we have four shirt sponsors and income from pitch side advertising boards.
Because of the leasing agreement the club has with Highland Council Kilmallie we did not qualify for the £10K grant that other clubs received. However, Club secretary Linda identified another grant that we did quality for and we received £4,500. An application for a community Co-op grant has been lodged. To ease the financial strain that many were experiencing during lockdown we suspended the club lottery and have not held any fund raising activities
Canal Parks is now recognised as having one of the best playing surfaces in the game. Peter Jackson and his team of volunteers have worked wonders over the winter and spring. The club intend to continue to support Peter by continuing to invest in the playing facilities.
The ladies on the Kilmallie board have set up a tea shed at the park serving homemade baking and refreshments during home matches. Apart from bringing in some income this is a service that is enjoyed and appreciated by spectators
In the eyes of the Kilmallie members the Kilmallie club should be in the top tier of shinty competition. To get to that position and stay there is proving very difficult, the team seems to be too good for the National League yet not good enough for the Premier League. Success breeds success, the Kilmallie club needs to taste a little success to move to the position whereby we are competitive with the premier league teams. We have the players, with dedication and player commitment we are confident that we can move on to higher things.