Lochaber shinty clubs partner with SAMH to “Gain the Advantage”

Two Lochaber based shinty clubs have teamed up with Scottish Association for Mental Health in order to further their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their players, volunteers & supporters.

The ‘Gain the Advantage Programme’ will be open to all those involved in Fort William and Kilmallie Shinty Clubs and their wider community, to positively engage with a variety of activities, workshops and events based around the 5 ways to wellbeing. These are Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Learn and Give. Introducing individuals at an earlier stage with the opportunity to explore their mental health, engage with tools and resources to increase their capacity to support their own and others mental health and wellbeing, building both personal and community resilience.

On Friday SAMH workers Nina Allinson and Steph McLean began this journey by meeting with local ‘School of Shinty’ Lochaber High School. Also in attendance were representatives from some of shinty’s biggest supporters including MOWI and Ferguson Transport, as well as Camanachd Association National Development Manager, Ronald Ross and Youth Director Willie MacDonald.

Following their introduction to Lochaber High School and some of the area’s major employers, Nina and Steph delivered to members of Kilmallie Shinty Club and Fort William Shinty Club ahead of the Lochaber Derby on Saturday. It is hoped that the resource that SAMH are able to offer will enable these clubs and the area as a whole to become more mentally healthy. This work is in addition to the ongoing Shinty Chaplaincy programme which both clubs have endorsed.

Ronald Ross, Regional Development Manager, Camanachd Association said:

“We are delighted to move forward with the “Gain the Advantage” programme and to provide better support for shinty communities. This year long initiative compliments all the work we do with partners in this sphere including: Samaritans, Scottish Sports Chaplaincy, Mikeysline and more. Well done to both clubs and Lochaber High School for embracing the opportunity to develop mentally healthy communities.”