Shinty Memories Scotland will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, January 27 at 1930.  Due to the current COVID situation the meeting will be online.  This is an open meeting and if anyone wishes to take part and find out more about what SMS has been doing and plans to do in the future, please send a request for the link to the meeting to

This has been a difficult period for the Group in the face of many challenges. It is now more important than ever that the work being done is extended – both developing current projects, and also opening up new areas of work where support for people living with dementia.  There are many aspects to the group’s work and we are always looking for more help in shinty playing communities, both by way of delivering our work but also identifying people who may benefit from some support which we can provide.

If there any questions you would like to raise or have placed on the agenda for the AGM, please get in touch.

Shinty Memories

Shinty Memories Groups have been or are being set up in a number of shinty-playing  communities,  and the network is set to expand as more clubs and areas become involved.

The groups have grown from a collaborative project called Sports Heritage Scotland involving Shinty’s governing body, the Camanachd Association and five other sports in which the sports’ archives and other resources are being used to help people with dementia and living in other difficult circumstances such as depression and loneliness. The work is also contributing towards the establishment of a national shinty archive.


The groups open to anyone and when they are set up they are supplied with sets of cards and other materials which have been prepared from various archives using images of players, trophies, pitches and badges. They are laminated, and the reverse includes clues to assist recall.  Various activities such as quizzes, fund-raising veterans’ matches are being organised.

There can be few clubs or families who are not aware of people who have to meet the challenges of dealing with mental health issues such as dementia. Memories Shinty Club, the first on-line virtual shinty club, has been established with its own Facebook and Twitter presence which have been extremely successful. Modelled on a previously trialled and very successful project involving football, the plan is to build sets of resources to be used to help people improve their recall, communication skills, self-esteem and confidence.

Memories Shinty Club is run by trained volunteers and each group is supported by trained team leaders, local fund-raising or sponsorship.  Sessions usually last between 60 minutes and 80 minutes and there is always a break at “half time” for refreshments. Teas and coffees are provided. A trained volunteer leads shinty memories sessions and a professional with specific knowledge of memory problems is always part of the team. Shinty images can be digitised for use of the project and safe return to owners.

The Memories Shinty Club is being supported by a number of current and former players and officials, including John MacKenzie MBE (Scotland and Newtonmore) who is the shinty Ambassador. He said:  “The shinty community knows of many people who have dementia. We have so much we can contribute by talking to people and triggering memories through our photographs and memorabilia.  Sharing our memories is so important.”

If you would like to know more about setting up, joining or helping with Shinty Memory Groups, or can help supply materials for the memory boxes, please get in touch.