Football pilot goes down a treat with Gaelic pupils

Teams taking part in the first Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean were: Inverness Royal Academy, Ardnamurchan High School, Dingwall Academy, Sgoil Lionacleit, Sir E Scott School, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, Nicolson Institute and Tobermory High School.

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Ardnamurchan and Tobermory high school teams joined six other Highland outfits in a new football competition last month.

After the success of Cuach na Cloinne with primary schools over the years, Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG) launched Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean at Canal Park in Inverness on Wednesday June 22.

Cuach na Cloinne is a national five-a-side football competition aimed at primary four to primary seven pupils with Gaelic from all over the country. This year, 85 teams took part in the competition.

Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean will follow a similar five-a-side format and is open to high school pupils in S1-2 who speak Gaelic. An added rule for this competition was each team was required to have at least two girls, with one girl on the pitch at all times.

CnaG decided to run the pilot as high school pupils kept saying how much they had enjoyed Cuach na Cloinne while they were at primary school and would be keen for another opportunity to take part. The competition had also provided them with the chance to interact with other young people from across the country while speaking Gaelic.

For this first competition, high schools in areas where there are CnaG Iomairt Officers took part.

Development Director at CnaG Marina Murray said: ‘It was fantastic we had the opportunity to run this competition for the first time, allowing young people to showcase their football and Gaelic skills at the same time.

‘These events give young people the chance to have fun and to connect with other young Gaelic speakers outside of the classroom environment. We are gathering feedback from the young people who took part so that we can develop the competition for next year.’

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Chief Executive Officer Shona MacLennan said: ‘It is great to see this project being developed to include secondary pupils. It promotes wellbeing and the aims of the National Plan to normalise Gaelic. Keep it up!’

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu won the first competition, beating the Nicolson Institute in the final.

Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and administered by Comunn na Gàidhlig.

Photograph: Teams taking part in the first Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean were: Inverness Royal Academy, Ardnamurchan High School, Dingwall Academy, Sgoil Lionacleit, Sir E Scott School, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, Nicolson Institute and Tobermory High School. NO_F28_shinty_Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean