Six members of Lovat Shinty Club are gearing up to tackle a 400 mile cycle which will encompass all 2017 Marine Harvest Premiership Shinty clubs. The cycle, which has an ascent of 16,000 feet, takes place from 31 July to 3 August, and will finish in spectacular style on the main stage of the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival to the music of acclaimed local band Torridon.
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival has selected the club as their lead charity this year, and proceeds from the mammoth challenge are to be split between Highland Hospice and the Lovat Shinty Club New Community Clubhouse Fund.
The team, made up of Fraser Gallacher, Stuart MacDonald, Callum Cruden, Greg Matheson, Daniel Grieve and Drew Howie, will start their challenge on Monday 31 July in Glasgow, home to Glasgow Mid Argyll Shinty Club, cycling to Kyles Athletic ground in Tighnabruiach and then arriving in Oban.
Tuesday sees them set off to Caol for Kilmallie, Spean Bridge for Lochaber, Newtonmore then Kingussie. On day three they take a detour to Kirkton, home of Kinlochshiel Shinty Club - and Thursday 3 August takes in Drumnadrochit to visit Glen Urquhart and of course Balagte, home of Lovat Shinty Club before being welcomed by a cheering crowd at 4pm on the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival Main Stage.
As well as continuing their support for Highland Hospice through this challenge, the cyclists are supporting the club’s ambitious project to build a new sports pavilion in the village of Kiltarlity. Here, the shinty club is a key social hub for many in the community.
Lovat Shinty Club currently encompasses one Premiership, one North Division team, one ladies team and two junior teams. Having won the Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup in 2015, the club is keen to capitalise on this success and inspire the next generation of players. Youth membership is growing year on year with regular coaching sessions and, unfortunately, the present facilities are not fit for purpose.
The club will also provide significant benefit to the wider community with plans including a treatment room for the use of physiotherapists (including the potential use by NHS staff for outreach clinics) and a large social area for the local school and other constituted groups which will help alleviate the high demand for an additional community facility.
Callum Cruden from Lovat Shinty Club said, “We are training hard for our challenge and would like to urge anyone with an interest in shinty or the Kiltarlity and Kirkhill community to get behind us. We are very grateful to have received support from SportScotland and The Robertson Trust to part fund the cost - however, the rest has to be fundraised. Huge thanks to Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival for getting behind us on this and for supporting our club.
Highland Hospice Fundraiser Katie Gibb added, “We are really grateful to Lovat Shinty Club for their continued support and for choosing to split their fundraising with Highland Hospice. I would like to wish them all the very best with this phenomenal challenge, and hope they get the warm reception they deserve, courtesy of Torridon, on the Belladrum Main Stage!”
To donate or find out more about the challenge please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/cam...