Orkney Archers Club (1) Resize


Sport in Orkney boosted by £1million of investment from sportscotland

A £1million package of investment is set to benefit sport in Orkney. The investment will allow for a significant improvement in a range of Orkney’s sports facilities and provide better opportunities for sport on the islands for many years to come.  

The package, made up of Scottish Government and National Lottery funding, will also aid preparations for the Orkney 2025 Island Games. It will help provide competition venues which will be homes for local sport, benefitting schools, Active Schools Orkney, clubs and the local community for generations, as well as a range of other support to help boost Orkney’s sporting future. 

Funding awards for facilities, equipment and coaches will improve Orkney’s sports infrastructure in the short and the long term. While funding for Orkney athletes will allow them the best possible preparation for a once in a lifetime chance to compete at a home Island Games.  

While an increased investment in staffing for the Orkney Community Sports Hub programme will provide an improved sporting provision on the islands. There is also funding for Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport who will have athletes taking part in the games, to allow visits to Orkney to ensure appropriate planning ahead of the Games.   

The investment is in addition to sportscotland’s annual investment of just under £170,000 to sport in Orkney, which includes a commitment and investment in Active Schools, Orkney Community Sports Hub, young people and cycling. 

Local clubs are also set to benefit from the investment. Key projects that will create or improve the places where people take part in sport and physical activity in their local community are being supported through sportscotland’s Sport Facilities Fund. 

Scottish Government Sports Minister, Maree Todd, said: 

“I’m very pleased to see this significant investment into sport in Orkney, which will contribute to the success of Orkney 2025 and, crucially, provide a lasting legacy of the games. 

“This additional funding will benefit local clubs and communities, improve sporting infrastructure and will make a real difference to people across Orkney, but particularly children and young people.” 


Clubs receiving awards include:   


Orkney Gymnastics Club - £78,600 for new equipment   

Orkney Athletics Club - £18,084 for new high jump equipment and associated storage 

Orkney Archers Club - £9,000 for new archery bosses, stands and accessories   


An award will allow for the purchase of 24 ILCA sailing boats to be used during the games. With the support of RYA Scotland these boats will be re-distributed to for the wider benefit of the Scottish sailing community after the event. Many of them will remain in Orkney to be used by local sailing clubs, while others will be moved to benefit other rural and island communities.  

A £241,335 investment in the athletics track at the Pickaquoy Centre in Kirkwall will secure the long-term future of the only track in Orkney, the home of Orkney Athletics Club. The funding will give the venue certified track mark status providing a competition venue for Orkney 2025 and the potential to host further licenced events.   

A new mountain bike trail at the Pickaquoy Centre will host the mountain bike event at next summer’s Island Games. The trail will mean Orkney can cater for beginners right up to high level riders for years to come.   

The trail will receive £243,220 from the £8million Cycling Facilities Fund, a fund administered by sportscotland and Scottish Cycling, which aims to develop a network of cycling facilities across the country and deliver a tangible benefit from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. It has been made possible through a £4million commitment from Scottish Government and £4million from sportscotland through National Lottery funds.     

The unprecedented investment in cycling infrastructure is being delivered through a partnership between sportscotland and Scottish Cycling to ensure projects can have a lasting impact on their communities and the sport.   

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Forbes Dunlop, said: 

“We are delighted to be working with partners including Orkney Islands Council, Orkney 2025 and the Scottish Government to help deliver a lasting benefit from the Island Games.    

“Orkney 2025 will be a historic occasion and a wonderful chance for local athletes to compete at a home multi-sport event. The improvements to sporting infrastructure that this investment will support will be of huge value to the local community for many years.   

“This funding package, and the staffing expertise we are providing to each of the projects in Orkney, are part of our ongoing commitment to support sport in Orkney and other rural and island communities across Scotland.”   

Orkney Community Sports Hub will have its resources increased with an uplift in hours for the hub officer post, which will move from a part-time to a full-time position. There will be £30,000 provided over three years for a new rural coaching subsidy. The new programme will support current and potential coaches and officials from local areas with travel and accommodation costs to access education, training and development opportunities.   

sportscotland will work with the councils of Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles to support the education and development of coaches and officials for the Island Games. After the games the programme will help create an increased sport workforce as clubs develop their capacity for increased participation.   

Orkney athletes will share £40,000 over four years from the Athlete Travel Award Scheme, a programme which helps young athletes in regional and rural Scotland access competitive and training opportunities. The programme, now in its seventh year, is a partnership between sportscotland and the participating local authorities in Scotland - Orkney Islands, Western Isles, Shetland Islands and Highlands Councils. Between now and March 2025, 13 athletes will each receive up to £750 towards costs of travel.   

Eleven athletes will also be supported through the Orkney Performance Development Programme, which will receive £36,000 over three years. Athletes will receive access to performance support from sportscotland institute of sport experts including physical preparation sessions, physio, advice from a performance lifestyle advisor and a programme of education opportunities.    

The Orkney 2025 International Island Games will take place from 12-18 July 2025. Athletes from 24 island groups will travel to Orkney to take part in what is set to be the largest event ever hosted on the islands, up to 2,000 visitors are expected.  

It will be the 20th International Island Games and will mark the event’s 40th year. This week-long competition will see athletes from up to 24 island groups from across the world compete in 12 sports: archery, athletics, badminton, bowls, cycling, football, golf, gymnastics, sailing, squash, swimming and triathlon.  

 Chair of Orkney Islands Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, Councillor Gwenda Shearer, said:   

 “A huge amount of work has taken place to reach this point and my thanks go to officers from sportscotland, the Council and Orkney 2025 in securing this funding.  

“We know sport and physical activity play a significant role in supporting physical, mental and social health, so I’m delighted that this investment of £1M within Orkney will support our clubs, organisations, facilities and athletes to deliver, whilst ensuring that more people can be more active, more often.   

“There’s a buzz around Orkney with the upcoming 2025 Island Games and it’s a chance for our athletes to showcase sport on home turf, but this level of investment will also enable much more access to everyone, no matter the person’s ability, well into the future.” 

Gordon Deans, Chair of Orkney 2025, said: 

“It is a great privilege for Orkney to host the International Island Games. The local community is set to benefit enormously from this additional funding from sportscotland which will ensure that the Games leaves a long lasting and positive legacy for local sport. It will also further support Scotland’s reputation as a country that delivers world-class sporting events. 

“Sport can have such a positive impact on small and remote communities so by further investing in Orkney’s sporting facilities we are in turn providing a focus for young people, promoting a healthy lifestyle and strengthening the community’s cultural identity.” 

Nick Rennie, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling, said:  

"As the governing body for cycle sport in Scotland, it's important that we have high quality facilities, that cater for all disciplines and abilities, right across the country, so I'm delighted that through the Cycling Facilities Fund we're able to make a sizeable investment to support further development in Orkney. It's an extremely exciting time for the island, with the Orkney 2025 Island Games fast approaching, and the new mountain bike trails will provide some memorable moments, both during and long after the event has concluded." 


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