Inverness Shinty Academy creating pathway for kids to get into sport
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INVERNESS Shinty Academy are giving more primary school pupils the opportunity to get into the sport than ever before.
That is the view of primary school coach Matthew Maciver who says that the success of the programme is leading to positive results on the pitch.
Muirtown Primary School are believed to be the first primary school to reach the final of the MacKay Cup, which was the first match of MacTavish Cup Finals Day at Bught Park last weekend.
Despite losing to Newtonmore, Muirtown’s appearance in the final was seen as a major breakthrough for shinty in the city.
The Inverness Shinty Academy was established to get primary schools in the city involved with the game.
Before the pandemic, around 350 players from 15 primary schools were involved with the academy, with the number now growing again.
Maciver says shinty is in a healthy position in Inverness at primary school level. He is confident the programme will lead to more success at teenage and senior level.
“We try to get kids from different schools together and play regularly on Saturdays,” he said.
“We want to feed them into our under-14, under-17 and senior structure so there is a pathway for them once they leave primary school to play shinty.
“Volunteers visit schools to teach shinty who do festivals and competitions and that feeds into MacKay Cup, Tulloch Cup and the Shinty World Cup.
“We have an inclusive academy which welcomes any child from any school.
“Due to its success, there are under-14 and under-17 teams at Inverness and that is born out of the number of kids coming through the primary schools in the last four years.”
Maciver says Muirtown Primary School did Inverness proud in the MacKay Cup final.
He said: “The children got an experience to reach the final at Bught Park and we were all delighted that they got there.”