Highland Council say has been a huge increase in the numbers taking part in football competition, Cuach na Cloinne.
The 2018 competition will be the biggest ever with 78 teams across 38 schools participating.
Cuach na Cloinne is a football competition for P4-7 pupils going through Gaelic medium education. Regional competitions will be held this year in Lewis, South Uist, Skye, Inverness, Oban and Glasgow with the successful teams from the regional competitions all meeting at the national finals in Inverness on 29th May.
Donald MacNèill, Ceannard of Comunn na Gàidhlig, which organises the competition said, “Cuach na Cloinne has built up a good reputation and is now firmly established in the school calendar, with the children all looking forward to playing in it. We are looking forward to a highly successful competition this year with up to 500 young people taking part in it. It is a matter of great encouragement to see the numbers participating increasing year on year. We have more teams taking part in this year’s competition than ever before. I want to record my gratitude to the sponsors of Cuach na Cloinne, without whose assistance the competition wouldn’t happen. They are Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean and The Highland Council. I also want to send my best wishes to all 78 teams as they fight it out for this year’s title.”
Councillor John A Maciver, Chair of the Gaelic Plan Implementation Committee at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said, “Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is delighted to support Cuach na Cloinne once again. It is important that children going through Gaelic medium education are provided with opportunities to use their language outwith the classroom and also to meet with Gaelic-speaking children from other areas. This reinforces to them that the language is not only used in their own communities but in communities the length and breadth of Scotland. I am delighted to see the increase in the numbers participating from the Western Isles with 33 teams from across 15 schools taking part. That is close to 300 youngsters. I hope and trust we have an excellent competition again this year and send my best wishes to all the teams from the Western Isles.”
David Boag, Director of Language Planning and Community Developments at Bòrd na Gàidhlig said, “Cuach na Cloinne has been extremely successful, over the years, in bringing young people from across Scotland together, enabling them to bond and create friendships in a Gaelic environment. In the National Gaelic Language Plan which was published in March, young people have a special place in bringing the language forward and projects like Cuach na Cloinne greatly help in meeting the objectives of the Plan.”
Cllr. Alister Mackinnon, Chair of Highland Council’s Corporate Resources Committee said, “Highland Council has been supporting Cuach na Cloinne for the past 12 years, and is delighted to see how it has developed significantly in relation to the number of teams from schools in the Highland area who are participating. It is important where possible that sporting activities through the medium of Gaelic take place out with the formal educational curriculum.”
The competition kicks off today, 1st May, with the regional competition at Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abair.
Cuach na Cloinne 2018 is funded by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Highland Council and Bòrd na Gàidhlig and run by Comunn na Gàidhlig.