Coaches pitch in as primary school shinty training restarts

Photograph shows coaches Allan Duffy, Lorne Robertson, Les Kinvig and David Hamilton of the Macaulay Association with some of the young players.

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A group of coaches from Oban and the surrounding area have taken it upon themselves to provide shinty training for primary age children.

With no return to official training within the primary schools, due to the current pandemic, the Macaulay Association has teamed up with a number of local coaches to provide the sessions which currently boast around 22 young players.

Coaches Allan and Vivienne Duffy from Rockfield Primary along with Lorne Robertson from Park Primary started the ball rolling by approaching the association through Les Kinvig, who is also a coach at Rockfield, with the idea.

‘The plan quite simply was to provide much-needed shinty for the primary school age category as the players and parents were keen to see a return to some form of the sport as soon as possible,’ explained Les.

‘This would normally be a fairly easy process but with it not being official school shinty there were hurdles to overcome on top of the additional Covid procedures that needed to be put in place.’

The coaches set about inviting players from Rockfield, Park, St Columba’s and Taynuilt, who then all had to be registered with the Camanachd Association in order for them to be insured to participate.

Oban Celtic and Oban Camanachd  assisted with this process before the Macaulay Association booked the blaze pitch. Unfortunately the weather put pay to the first two scheduled sessions at which point the decision was made to change the venue to the 4G at Oban High School.

This in turn then involved further assistance from Oban Celtic in order to comply with Live Argyll’s Covid pitch booking rules, fortunately with Les being from Oban Celtic and the Macaulay’s Covid coordinator, the bookings were soon in place.

‘It was great to see primary shinty back in some form with 22 kids taking part and more expected in the coming weeks,’ he added.

Sessions are taking place at the 4G pitch at Oban High School on Saturdays 10am- 11.30am and anyone wishing to attend should contact their school, the coaches, the Macaulay Association, Oban Celtic or Oban Camanachd for further information.

Players must be registered prior to attending and all Covid procedures must be adhered to.