Former Caley Thistle captain Graeme Shinnie receives sporting award from University of the Highlands and Islands students
A HERO of Inverness Caley Thistle's famous Scottish Cup final triumph of 2015 has been honoured by students at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Graeme Shinnie, a youth academy graduate who went on to play for Scotland, lifted the trophy as captain in his last game for the club.
Now at Derby County, the 28-year-old left for Aberdeen that summer but is still held in high esteem by local supporters given his renowned commitment and contribution.
The Highlands and Islands' Students Association (HISA) has now recognised Shinnie with an honorary sporting blues award, a mark of sporting excellence introduced the university's students and alumni in 2017.
Mr Shinnie, who moved to Inverness in his early teens, completed a part-time national certificate in sports and fitness at Inverness College UHI in 2009 while playing for ICT’s under 20s.
The honorary blues are awarded to athletes connected to UHI who have made outstanding contributions to Scottish, British or international sport.
Speaking of his pride at the award, Mr Shinnie said: "Sport can definitely encourage students in learning different disciplines and help with a lot of things, including mental health. Sport can provide you with a space to meet people and speak out about certain issues that people might not have felt comfortable doing otherwise."
Depute head of school for care, health, and well-being Kirsten Grant said: "I remember Graeme was one of the development players we had coming. They were a great bunch of students.
"We focussed on human physiology and personal fitness, which has hopefully helped in their careers. It's great to see an ex-student like Graeme doing so well."
HISA president Alan Simpson added: "Being able to showcase exceptional sporting achievements like those of Graeme is very rewarding. We hope that his success will inspire other UHI students to participate in sports at a professional level."
Dean of students Dr Iain Morrison added: "Our talented students never fail to amaze me with their academic, artistic, sporting and musical talents."