As we celebrate our own ten year anniversary, it’s a good time to pay tribute to a club we’ve had a long friendship with who are also marking ten years of driving shinty forward on the edge of the world – Kinlochbervie Camanachd.
As part of Highland 2007 “The Highland Promise”, Kinlochbervie High School pupils voted to spend some of their funding allocation on learning shinty. The inaugural training session took place in June 2007 with coaches Heather MacNeil, PE and parent Duncan Clark. The sessions were open to pupils from P5 to S6 and run on a weekly basis with an average of 30 pupils attending (a very large proportion of the school roll).
Over ten years this club has kept on developing, with players graduating and some of them playing for other teams in the North (including the late lamented Lochbroom) as well as the abortive Naver Athletic team who made one short foray into the cups. They have travelled all across the country to school tournaments, they were regular attendees at our much missed Mid-Minch Medal and won it all three times it was run in 2008, 2009 and 2010.and even took part in the 2011 Camanachd Association Development league against Uist and Strathspey, finishing third.
However their biggest event has always been the Far North Sixes, held in Scourie and running sections for adults and under 14s.
Camanachd Leòdhais first attended the Far North Sixes in 2010, taking two teams, and won it! It was a very important morale boost forr a club who up until that point had only experienced big defeats in the cups. With league entry, the next couple of years were taken up with getting the senior team settled in the leagues, but we sent a youth team in 2013, before sending a senior and youth side in 2014. We sent some fringe players in 2015 and 2016 bolstered by a couple of experienced players to help them gain experience.
Three Camanachd Leòdhais players have won the player of the Tournament award – Scott Murray in 2010, Al Reed in 2015 and Steven Morrison in 2016.
The Far North Sixes has always been an excellent event, and with the event marking ten years, and Duncan Clark bowing out as head coach, we can only pay tribute to himself, Paula, Heather and all the others involved with KLB and wish them every success in the future. We are sending over three under 14 squads, with Camanachd Leòdhais Yellows, Blues and Blacks all looking to gain experience in what will hopefully be a great day weatherwise as it has been in the past.
Gu math fada beò iomain ann an Dùthaich MhicAoidh!