In a bid to promote shinty and make it more accessible to young people, the Camanachd Association has partnered with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) to train 62 teaching students to deliver the sport in primary schools.

The programme, which is called Shinty for Schools, aims to introduce children to Scotland’s community sport. With the help of trained professionals, who are passionate about the sport, children will be able to learn new skills, values, and teamwork.

Speaking on the partnership, Ronald Ross, National Development Manager of the Camanachd Association, said: “We are delighted to be once again partnering with UHI to provide this exciting opportunity for trainee teachers to gain knowledge and skills to deliver shinty in schools. It is important that we continue to promote and grow our national sport and ensure that it has a bright future, which starts with getting young people involved.”

The training course includes both theoretical and practical components, as well as an assessment to ensure that UHI student teachers have the confidence and understanding in delivering the programme. The course will cover the ‘How to Coach’ and ‘What to Coach ‘ techniques that are fundamental to skills development in the game of shinty, all of which will help the teachers to deliver effective and engaging sessions to their pupils. On completing the course, the students will all receive a coaching resource pack that will include drill cards and skill videos to support them in their delivery.

Derek Keir, Camanachd Association CEO said: “Moving forward the Camanachd CEO would like to see ‘Shinty for Schools’ highlighted in school development plans and being recognised as a key part of a school’s ethos to create opportunities that are available for the long term in the local community. The role regular physical activity has on the well-being of our children is a core part of our children’s learning and Shinty for Schools can play a central role in sustaining regular physical activity by helping young people move into positive and sustained destinations beyond school – a key component of curriculum for excellence.”

Dr Iain Morrison, UHI’s Dean of Student Experience, said: “UHI is delighted to be continuing our collaboration with the Camanachd Association to expand the reach of shinty. Our initiative is helping to promote physical activity and to celebrate the cultural heritage and values which lie at the heart of Scotland’s sporting traditions.

Our second shinty for schools training day took place on Thursday 31 August. The teaching students who took part will be awarded a completion certificate from UHI and the Camanachd Association, enabling them to promote Scotland’s community sport.”