Launch of first ever Shinty Ambassador Programme

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The Shinty Ambassador Programme was launched on November 2 at Lochaber High School.

A total of 22 ambassadors attended as well as three of the initial young people involved in designing the programme.

These young people were given two hours of event planning training through HighLife Highland then led through coaching skills, forward planning and ice breaker sessions by the young mentors.

There were over 60 applications from across 13 schools to become shinty ambassadors.

These applications were narrowed down by the young person’s working group and the first ever shinty ambassadors were notified in early October.

All of the ambassadors have now gone back to their schools with new ideas, friendships with the support to make shinty a popular and prominent sport in their schools and surrounding areas.

The aspiration is that schools will, as a result, have a significant increase in young people interested and engaged in shinty, more confident leaders and more structured school to club links, providing a pathway to ongoing participation and competition opportunities.

The Camanachd Association gained funding through the ‘Year of Young People National Lottery Fund’.

Young Persons Working Group member Ryan Boyle commented: “We have really enjoyed being part of the concept and design process and it’s great to see our project being brought to life with the funding we have received from the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund.

“It was fantastic to see all the ambassadors come together at the launch and be a part of their training day.

“There were so many great ideas shared and we are looking forward to seeing these come to life in schools across the country.”

Keith Loades, president of the Camanachd Association, said: “It has been excellent to have young people involved in the programme design process and it’s clear to see the Shinty Ambassador Programme is something that will benefit schools and their pupils.

“We are grateful to the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund for the grant we have received to deliver this programme as a pilot in 2018-2019 and from there hopefully look to develop it further.”

See page 23 for the latest results from shinty’s Camanachd Association, as the season heads towards its climax.