Meet the Board: Steven MacKenzie, President

Steven MacKenzie (left) presents outgoing President, Keith Loades with a silver mounted caman

Steven MacKenzie, President

Steven’s working career started with the Clydesdale Bank having left school at 17 but within a few years he realised that banking was not for him. He went on to study at the University of Aberdeen and now works for the Royal Mail and is responsible for a team that organises the staffing and records the workload in Inverness Mail Centre.

Steven’s playing career saw him experience two very different clubs – Beauly and Aberdeen University, both with very proud and interesting histories. Steven has said, “As I grew older and my focus widened beyond just playing, I came to appreciate not only their specific stories but also that every club has a story to tell, and that together they make our game what it is.” This, has made him determined that we should protect and promote the important cultural and historic role that shinty has played within our communities, and within the wider context of Scotland and Scottish sport.

When asked about first priorities under his premiership Steven said the following: “My immediate aim as President would be to implement the wishes of the CA membership. As a member-led organisation our strategic plan guides the Board of Directors and the Association staff. It’s developed after a comprehensive consultation exercise with clubs followed by discussions with sportscotland. The current plan ends in 2022 and will need to be updated, not least to take account of a post-COVID world.

Many of the membership will not be familiar with the strategic plan but it’s a detailed document I’d encourage anyone interested in shinty to consult as it demonstrates the breadth of work undertaken by the Association. My own experience suggests that we need to continue to focus on playing numbers, supporting teams from traditional shinty areas, and looking to expand into areas where the game has ceased to be played. Youth initiatives such as the Schools of Shinty and the Young Ambassadors programme will be key to future success and will help with player retention which is another issue for our sport.”