The Cuach na Cloinne Finals competition, held at Bught Park, Inverness, was hard fought, but at the end of the competition Bun-sgoil Portrìgh were overall runners-up.
Winners for the second year in a row were Bun-sgoil an Iochdair from South Uist.
Despite inclement weather conditions the teams provided wonderful entertainment and it was a delight to hear so many youngsters speak so fluently in Gaelic.
Over the past few weeks, regional competitions were held in Lewis, Uist, Skye, Inverness, Oban and Glasgow resulting in teams from Back, Iochdair, Portree, Dingwall, Salen and Taobh na Pàirce, Edinburgh qualifying for the national Finals which took place yesterday (Wednesday 5 June.)
Cuach na Cloinne is a national football competition, which creates an opportunity for young people from primary schools across Scotland who attend Gaelic Medium Education to meet and compete against each other. It gives the youngsters the opportunity to meet and to make friends with young Gaelic-speakers from other schools and also demonstrates to the youngsters that Gaelic is spoken across Scotland, and not just in their own particular communities. The competition is held entirely in Gaelic. A record number of teams participated in this year’s competition with 75 teams representing 36 schools taking part nationally.
Highland Councillor Alister Mackinnon, Budget Leader and Chair of the Council’s Gaelic Strategy and Implementation Group said: “I would like to congratulate Iochdair school on winning this year’s Cuach na Cloinne competition. I would also like to congratulate Portree who were runners-up in the competition and all the other teams for making it to the Finals. Cuach na Cloinne is a very well established national Gaelic event on the youth sporting Gaelic circuit.
"I’m delighted that the event is so successful and creating a tournament which is held entirely in Gaelic supports and enhances the young people’s learning experience beyond the class room. It also provides an excellent opportunity for young people to use their linguistic skills through extra-curricular activities. The Highland Council is delighted to support the event which develops the young people’s linguistic skills and also helps to create positive relationships across Scotland’s Gaelic schools.”
An additional award ‘Sàr Neach Cleachdaidh na Gàidhlig’, was presented this year to the individual player who, in the view of the referees, made the best use of the Gaelic language throughout the event. The winner of the award was Iain Macdonald, from Bun-sgoil an Iochdair.
Donald MacNeill, Chief Executive of Comunn na Gàidhlig, who run the competition said, “It is extremely encouraging to see so many youngsters from all parts of Scotland taking part in the competition. Cuach na Cloinne is all about young people having a lot of fun – they also get some exercise, an opportunity to meet other youngsters from across Scotland, an opportunity to use their Gaelic out with the schools and above all else that they go home having had a good positive experience. We are grateful to The Highland Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Bòrd na Gàidhlig for their continuing support for Cuach na Cloinne.”
Cuach na Cloinne 2019 is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and The Highland Council and organised by Comunn na Gàidhlig.