For sports across Scotland, the importance of introducing a new generation to the sport is evergreen. This is no different for Shinty and The Camanachd Association. However, they are not taking on the challenge alone. They have recruited a group of passionate young people to help them shape the structure of their recruitment.
The Shinty Ambassadors Programme has allowed young people to play an important part in the future of the sport, whilst also developing themselves in the process.
What is a Shinty Ambassador?
The Shinty Ambassador programme is recruited through a video entry application sent to the local Active School Coordinator. These video entries were centered around why each of the potential Ambassadors were interested in the sport, becoming a Shinty Ambassador and what skills they felt they could bring to the programme.
Katie Drain, Regional Development Officer at the The Camanachd Association said;
"The main focus of the 'Shinty Ambassador Programme' is improving the health and well-being of young people through the sport of shinty. It’s been designed BY young people FOR young people."
The main responsibilities for Ambassadors who were included in the programme was the planning and delivery of 2 large scale come-and-try Shinty events per year, involving the primary, ASN and high schools in their area as well as the involvement of local clubs where possible. There was also an ask that the Ambassadors worked together to generate as much interest as possible in the sport through promotional poster advertisements and school based Shinty education events.
As well as this experience, Shinty Ambassadors are given the opportunity to attend 3 training days during the course of the year where they would experience a guest speaker and learn team building and public speaking skills.
Looking to the future
The success of the programme to has been significant, with a minimum of 2 shinty ambassadors in 12 school’s across Scotland. The current is that the programme will be rolled out into 24 high schools next year. There will also be a focus in the next year to encourage stronger links between clubs and education, to help stop the existing club rivalries spilling over into school time.
Find Out More
- About Shinty in Scotland
- Stories about Shinty on Sport First