Cllr Hamish Fraser meets the young leaders. Image courtesy of the Highland Council.
Eight young Gaelic medium leaders from across the Highlands were put through their paces by tutor, Active Schools Co-Ordinator, Danny Steele.
The High Life Highland Leadership Programme currently has around 1400 young people across the Highlands aged between 12-25 years registered.
Due to the sparse and scattered communities the Gaelic medium leadership programmes are delivered on a residential basis at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig College on The Isle of Skye, using translated material provided by Sports Leader UK.
This residential element also allows for total emersion in the language, supporting an ethos of peer learning. Once trained The Young Leaders will be supported by their respective Active Schools Co-ordinator, Youth Development Officer or school staff to roll out a programme of Gaelic activities in their local schools and communities where Gaelic medium Schools and departments exist.
Led by a Sportscotland Funded Development Officer this unique programme facilitates opportunities and progression through awards that require a substantial commitment to volunteering which in turn bring increased confidence, growing self-esteem, a sense of achievement and skills for life.
In October this year a partnership with The Highland Council Gaelic Team, secured funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig which enabled High Life Highland to reach their aim of being the first in the UK to deliver Gaelic medium Leadership Courses in Sport & Dance.
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chair of the Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said “This was an excellent event which provided young Gaelic speakers in the Highlands the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experiences; whilst combining their linguistic, sporting and social skills. These events are important in our efforts to support the increase in numbers of Gaelic speakers as per our Gaelic language plan.”
Ian Murray Chief Executive of High Life Highland said: “The HLH Programme has a key role in developing young people as leaders. We believe through the programme we can support young people from all social backgrounds to be role models, motivating and inspiring the next generation to be involved in a wide range of sustainable activities within their local communities.
We hope having the opportunity to take part in a week long Gaelic course will not only bridge a gap in sport & activity provision but will also have an influence on the young persons’ attitude and confidence in using Gaelic in the future.”