A new shinty
season-but a slow start for both the Glen and the D. However, now things are
hotting up and not only because the girls beat Strathglass in the Development
League . This morning, if the pictures are to be believed, the lads have only
gone and emigrated to the States for the whole weekend though the second team have had to stay behind to play Lochside in
the Sutherland. The girls have had to stay behind since they have a game too.
So what on
earth is this American expedition all about? Now this was not a question which
the Wing Centre asked himself. It is in fact the very question that was put to the
Wing Centre the other week by an old Glen historian.
“Did the Yanks invite you over because of
Bradley Martin’s connection with the Glen?” was the way it was put. Now Bradley
Martin was a rich American industrialist who rented the Balmacaan Estate from
the Earls of Seafield back before the first Word War. He is commemorated by an
obelisk adorned with the American Eagle situated across the A82 opposite the
shop. Indeed old Brad might even have been the guy who allowed the field at Blairbeg
be used for sport in the first place.
Centre sort of knew right away that this was not the reason the boys were going
over. After all the Phipps who were equally American used to rent the Lovat
Estate and as far as he had heard there was never any question of either Beauly
or Lovat getting the American gig-so what was the real narrative?
of the story comes about because EJ’s grandad was a Macleod – and Donald Trump’s
Mam was a Macleod – and that gave the boys an in to cheap rates at the Trump
International Hotel, near Central Park. Of course given the hassle that Dol Ban
has got himself into with his controversial remarks as he attempts to run for
the Presidential nomination, the Camanachd Association were very keen to play
down the relationship with The Donald, and so Chairman G was forced to issue a
Released under the banner “Shinty Jumps the Pond” it reads as follows;
Glenurquhart’s MacTavish Cup winning side are
gearing up for the trip of a lifetime to New York where on Saturday 9th April
they take part in the 18th Annual Tartan Day Parade down 6th Avenue. For
Glenurquhart Club President Garry Mackintosh the invitation to his club to
strut their stuff on the streets of Big Apple came as a massive surprise – but
a very welcome one at that.
“Just after our MacTavish Cup triumph over
Newtonmore last June I was contacted by Alan L Bain, President of the National
Tartan Day New York Committee who suggested we take the side across, march in
the parade and also showcase Scotland’s indigenous sport with an exhibition
match in Central Park. Clearly they had noted our historic victory in the media
– our first success in the MacTavish in over a century of trying – and I
suppose the idea of a team of shinty players from the shores of Loch Ness
caught the American imagination. The Loch and its monster are after all a
We sat on the idea for a while but then having been
joined in the venture by several strategic sponsors we realized we could seize
the opportunity of a lifetime. We have brought on board tartan specialist
Scotkilt Ltd who will supply us with our kilts for the trip, Alan Macpherson of
Tanera Camans who will provide our shinty sticks, Tomatin Distillery , Ark
Estates (Scotland) Ltd and of course our very own Highland Council , all of
whom see our trip as a positive boost for the Highlands.”
The Aird and Loch Ness Councillors have contributed
£4,000 for the trip from their Ward Discretionary Fund. Local Councillor and
Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson met up with co-manager Billy
Maclean and team captain Lewis Maclennan to wish them well. She said: “I know
the Club will do Glen Urquhart and Highland proud. It is a fantastic
opportunity and they have done well to make it and take it. Take the good
wishes of all of us around Loch Ness with you.”
A party of 30 players and officials, accompanied by
the current President of the Camanachd Association, Glenurquhart native Jim
Barr, will leave Drumnadrochit for New York on Friday 8th April and are due to
return to the Glen on Monday 11th.
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said:
“I am delighted that members of Glenurquhart Shinty
Club are demonstrating their ScotSpirit in New York this year. As well as being a
fantastic experience, by taking part in the Tartan Day Parade the team will be
flying the flag for not only Scotland, but also the Highlands and encouraging
people to come and visit us in the future.
“Loch Ness is a globally-recognised brand and
people from all around the world are fascinated by the myth. I hope the team
will capture the imaginations of those they meet and spread the word.
“VisitScotland’s marketing and digital platforms
already provide a shop window for Scotland and I hope this trip will complement
that, with the team promoting the Highlands internationally by showcasing the
region’s cultural background.”
Glenurquhart Shinty Club wish to thank the generous
sponsors without whom this event would not have been possible.
the fact that Gaz was bigged up to be President from his more humble situation
as Club Chairman and that Margaret’s napper was rightly used to block out the
Castle- let that be a lesson to Hysteric Scotland for not coming up with any
spondulicks by way of sponsorship- it tells the story just how we would like it
The lads are
certainly looking forward to a wee knock about Stateside provided Geordie
declares Dyckman Fields playable on the day. Otherwise there is no way anything
is going ahead. All the best to the lads in their new role as Ambassadors for
the Scottish Tourist Industry –let’s hope they have a good time
MacTavish? Even as the WC writes it’s heading overseas.
Did the Club ask
Torquil ? Maybe Jim Barr told him-then again , maybe not.
Why has the “D”
been on hold since November ? Mainly because the Wing Centre got out of the
habit of a regular encounter with the keyboard but also in part because the
Glen have had a disappointing start to their new season.
the Macdonald Cup at the end of Feb, the side has played well enough –with the
exception of the Newtonmore game- but somehow failed to beat Oban Camanachd and Kinlochshiel at home.
On other Saturdays the results would have been different
but on these particular Saturdays, it didn’t quite work out. The margins
between victory and defeat in this sport are very fine. Apparently.
Thanks to Sheena Lloyd for the photos and to the Highland Council for the one of Margaret , Billy and Lewis.