Mark Flemming Scottish Director of the Sports Chaplaincy provides an update on the Shinty Chaplaincy Project.

“After the conclusion of a year’s pilot chaplaincy project at Kyles Athletic Shinty Club with David Mitchell, two years ago, it was decided to see if we could get another two clubs interested in taking on chaplains.

In September 2020, Skye Camanachd requested chaplains for their men’s, women’s and junior teams and three chaplains have subsequently been appointed – Donnie MacDonald (men’s), Rebecca Langlands (women’s) and Gary Wilson (juniors).

The same month, Glen Urquhart Shinty Club also agreed to the appointment of chaplains for their men’s and women’s teams and that has also taken place (Sean Ankers for the men’s team and his wife Gin for the women’s team).

Both chaplaincy set-ups have been ongoing for the last year, and despite all the pandemic-related restrictions, the clubs have been reporting the appointments to be a great success.    I have also been encouraged by the clubs encouraging people to get in touch with the chaplains should the need arise.   For example Glen Urquhart invited their chaplains to write a post on their Facebook page:

Glen Urquhart Shinty Club – Posts | Facebook

The next target was to get another 5 shinty clubs on board for this season.   As you know, normally pre-season training begins in January/February and the season starts in March.   However, because of the pandemic, training was not resumed until May and a much shortened season began in June.   However, I was able to do a lot of groundwork prior to the season beginning, and as a consequence, chaplains have been appointed at Lovat (Stephen Allison), Beauly (Gordon Martin), Caberfeidh (Alec Stewart), Kilmallie (Euan Dodds) and Inveraray (Ryan Taylor) in the last month.

I have been very encouraged by the receptivity of all the clubs and how they have welcomed and integrated the chaplains so quickly.

Taking into account the limitations brought on by the pandemic (forgive my continual reference to this, but it has been such a major factor) we have still managed to appoint the amount of chaplains we had hoped for and talks are ongoing with a number of other clubs going forward over the next year – those clubs are Aberdour, Fort William, Inverness”

The Camanachd Association are heartened to hear that the project has been a success and that clubs continue to take up the offer of a shinty chaplain to help ensure that our members have someone at their club to talk to should the need arise. If your club is interested in having a chaplain please get in contact with