Shinty Memories Scotland, the national group set to support a network oflocal groups using the sport’s archives and other resources to help people with dementia and living with other issues such as depression and loneliness is to receive a major boost tomorrow (Saturday) in Oban at the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final.

The group will be presented with a cheque for £7,500 as part of the proceeds raised at a special charity day organised at Craigie Hill Golf Club in August. Other charities receiving support from the day are Kidney Research,  Pancreatic Cancer and  Alzheimer’s Scotland.

The Shinty Memories cheque will be presented by former Kilmallie and Fort William shinty player Hugh MacMaster, who is involved with the organisation of the annual fund-raiser at Craigie Hill. Twelve shinty playing teams took part in the tournament in an overall entry of 27 teams and £11,255 was raised in total.

The winning team was Kilmallie, made up of former footballer and shinty player Donald Park, Kenny Gillespie from Fort William, Andy Armstrong and David MacKay, the captain, who will be attending his first Camanachd Cup Final.

Hugh MacMaster said: “We are very proud of the work we do raising money for a range of charities at Craigie Hill and we are grateful to all the businesses and individuals who regularly make it such a success.  This year we have allocated some of the funds to ……. And we decided to make the biggest contribution to Shinty Memories Scotland which is doing some outstanding work in a very challenging area.  Perth has a great long history of hosting the early shinty Cup finals many years ago and I played for Tayforth for a few years when the club was very successful in the 1980s.”

The new support for Shinty Memories Scotland will be accepted by Chairman David MacMaster of Caberfeidh and John Mackenzie MBE, the Camanachd Association Chieftain who is also Shinty Memories Ambassador.   Speaking ahead of the presentation, MrDavid MacMaster said: “In common with all other areas of shinty and its communities far and wide, the last 18 months have been challenging for Shinty memories Scotland.  Our activities have been curtailed and realigned significantly to meet the new challenges we have faced and this has placed a great strain on the groups and our national resources.  However, as we emerge from the bewildering restrictions we have all faced, it remains our intention to grow and expand the network of groups currently in place under the umbrella of Shinty Memories Scotland. We are extremely grateful to Hughie MacMaster for the work he did in organising the event, to all the players who joined in, and also the businesses and other who helped provide prizes and other support.  We will now take time to deliberate on how to use this financial support as we emerge from Covid-19.”

Shinty Memories Scotland is also considering how to make the golf championship an annual event using the specially commissioned new Championship golf trophy, which was made by Roddie MacLennan of Aird Artisans, Inverness.

Shinty Memories Groups are 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. Various activities such as quizzes, fund-raising veterans’ matches are being organised.

Tulloch Homes, current sponsors of the Camanachd Cup, were hugely supportive of the setting up of Shinty Memories Groups initially and have enabled the organisation to establish solid foundations to move forward.

John Mackenzie added: “There can be few clubs or families who are not aware of people who living with the challenges of mental health issues such as dementia. Shinty Memories Groups are now building sets of resources to be used to help people improve their recall, communication skills, self-esteem and confidence.  A new handbook is available to help with the operation of groups.   Shinty images can be digitised for use of the project and safe return to owners. If anyone would like to know more about setting up, joining or helping with Shinty Memory Groups, make a donation to help with costs, or can help supply materials for the memory boxes, we would be delighted to hear about it.”