Camanachd Association and UHI to train 60 teachers in Shinty for Schools Programme
In a bid to promote shinty and make it more accessible to young people, the Camanachd Association has partnered with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) to train 60 teaching students to deliver the sport in primary schools.
The programme, which is called Shinty for Schools, aims to introduce children to Scotland’s community sport. With the help of trained professionals, who are passionate about the sport, children will be able to learn new skills, values, and teamwork.
Speaking on the partnership, Ronald Ross, National Development Manager of the Camanachd Association, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with UHI to provide this exciting opportunity for trainee teachers to gain knowledge and skills to deliver shinty in schools. It is important that we continue to promote and grow our national sport and ensure that it has a bright future, which starts with getting young people involved."
The training course will include both theoretical and practical components, as well as an assessment to ensure that UHI student teachers have the confidence and understanding in delivering the programme. The course will cover the ‘How to Coach’ and ‘What to Coach ‘ techniques that are fundamental to skills development in the game of shinty, all of which will help the teachers to deliver effective and engaging sessions to their pupils. On completing the course, the students will all receive a coaching resource pack that will include drill cards and skill videos to support them in their delivery.
Derek Keir, Camanachd Association CEO said: “Moving forward the Camanachd CEO would like to see 'Shinty for Schools' highlighted in school development plans and being recognised as a key part of a schools ethos to create opportunities that are available for the long term in the local community. The role regular physical activity has on the well-being of our children is a core part of our children's learning and Shinty for Schools can play a central role in sustaining regular physical activity by helping young people move into positive and sustained destinations beyond school - a key component of curriculum for excellence.”
He went on to say: “The experiences and outcomes that shinty can complement extend to health and well-being, the language of Gaelic and social studies. Our sport connects communities across Scotland, builds connection and a sense of belonging in our communities.”
Dr Iain Morrison, UHI’s Dean of Student Experience, said: "At UHI, we are committed to supporting our local communities and we are thrilled to work with the Camanachd Association to bring shinty to a wider audience. This programme will not only promote physical activity, but also promote cultural heritage and values that underpin Scotland's sporting traditions.
“The first Shinty for Schools training day took place on 28 March and the teaching students who successfully completed the course will receive a certificate of completion from UHI and the Camanachd Association and can begin spreading Scotland’s community sport.”
The impact that shinty has already had on schools across Scotland is clear.
Lyndsay Bradley, Headteacher at Acharacle Primary School said: “Including shinty in the school curriculum is a fantastic way to introduce pupils to their national sport from an early age. It provides pathway links to local clubs and an opportunity to learn more about the culture and heritage of our communities through sport. The majority of players in our current senior ladies and men's teams began their shinty careers in our local primary schools. I have been a long term advocate of training our new teachers as shinty coaches at the start of their careers, giving them the essential skills and confidence to take the sport forward in their schools and I am delighted to be involved in this project.”
Iain Adamson, Headteacher at Kingussie High School said: “We are delighted to hear that UHI will be training more teachers to promote and develop shinty in schools. We have been a ‘School of Shinty’ for four years now and the skills that our pupils develop are not only key to improving them as shinty players, but also to succeeding in school and beyond. As well as improving their shinty skills pupils are learning about leadership, teamwork and resilience through a sport that is a huge part of the Kingussie community and history.”