In the lead up to Saturday’s launch of the 2023 Mowi League season the Camanachd Association have been working with member clubs, schools and communities to upskill knowledge on First Aid, Coach Education, Club Governance, Officiating,  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion which has led to hundreds of coaches, volunteers and teachers going through our programmes with a view to enhancing our sport, our heritage and enriching the experience for our members throughout the year.

We are super excited for the start of a new season and we want to thank our sponsors Mowi and all the volunteers in clubs who have done an incredible job preparing their teams for the season ahead.

Moving forward our support will include further roll out of education to prioritise the wellbeing of young people and upskill a wider network of volunteers to further our understanding of child wellbeing and protection. We are also very excited to be planning a number of girl only opportunities this year which will feed into our planning for an international camp for girls in 2024 (Spaces are limited but schools interested should contact .

The victorious Kinlochshiel team with the Mowi Challenge Cup. Kinlochshiel v Lovat in the Mowi Challenge Cup Final, Played at The Eilan, Newtonmore.

Our team have also been liaising with 22 corporate partners. These vital partnerships support shinty and reflects our sports deep connection to organisations in our local communities. We are continually grateful for our partnerships to enable us to extend support and to help us grow where we can. A key output of this work will be the delivery of training to almost 80 training primary school teachers at the University of Highlands and Islands later this month who will subsequently be deployed in August of this year. Delivering our sport, engaging with partners is the surest way to longer term sustainable development. Another example of this, is our work with SAMH, Mikeysline and the Scottish Counselling Services. They are  collectively making important in-roads to connecting people to the support they may need and adding value within our communities.  Similarly, the work we do to enhance the profile of our sport through the comprehensive coverage of shinty such as the Half Swing Podcast, tv coverage, radio, online and via YouTube truly adds so much value to the sport. We are also working closely with Highland Council, Highlife Highland, local users and Inverness Shinty Club to progress the incredible new facility at the Bught park. This will include a new changing pavilion, hospitality and a national Shinty Story Exhibition. We are also working closely with clubs in Glasgow, Uddingston and Oban to support facility developments and recently achieved success with a new shinty pitch being established for Uddingston Shinty Club and Strathclyde University.

A key part of our responsibility as a governing body is upholding the rules of the game and as part of this we hosted a disciplinary forum this week with members represented from each of our independent disciplinary panels. Our Competitions and Events manager will have already been in touch with clubs following the officiating meeting that took place earlier in the week however to support some of the key actions we took from these meetings I have noted a few observations below. Following a review of 2022 misconduct data the following is recommended for clubs to consider

  • There were 332 bookings in 2022 and six cases referred to committee in around 600 matches
  • Coaches – creating a safe and positive environment to participate reduces the number of bookings that occur – Simple steps such as explaining complex rules can be helpful. Almost a third of bookings were as a result of swearing in the adult game or undermining the authority of the referee. If we can build awareness and promote respect then we can improve on this area. Taking a calm considered approach to coaching will set a positive example to players and align our coaches in shinty to best practice in sport helping achieve better results. Constructive language and feedback to improve performance will inevitably result in better performance..
  • A third of bookings were as a result of dangerous or reckless swinging of the caman. Practice on striking and blocking would reduce the number of dangerous swings and thus reduce any suspensions your team may encounter
  • Additionally as with any team sport we have a small number of individuals bringing the game in to disrepute by reacting negatively to decisions on the field. Helping players with strategies to avoid confrontation, accepting refereeing decisions and managing foul language would enhance our sport further and extend the sense of community that exists in our sport.
2022 Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final, Lovat v Kingussie, played at The Dell, Kingussie.

It is clear in every endeavour that success or failure often rellies on a small band of committed people. Shinty is no different to any other activity in this respect. On behalf of everyone in shinty can I extend a massive thank you to those individuals that make our sport possible. To those that have worked with our staff, committed to learning to improve standards in our game we cannot to work with you again. Our sport must commit to growing our knowledge and our skillset in order to meet the challenges in front of us and our staff will do all they can to support you where we can. For now I would like to wish all shinty clubs the best of luck for the season ahead and I look forward to catching up in due course.

Derek Keir

Annual-Report Final-2022

The victorious Badenoch team with the Valerie Fraser Cup. Badenoch v Skye Camanachd in the Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final, Played at The Eilan, Newtonmore.