ISLES ATHLETE TRAVEL AWARD SCHEME AWARDS
Eight elite athletes from the Outer Hebrides are set to benefit from a scheme designed to support travel costs for island competitors.
This is the second year of the pilot Islands Athlete Travel Award Scheme supported by sportscotland whereby 8 local athletes from across the Islands will receive £1,500 to support their travel and accommodation costs in attending training and competitions.
Applications were received from 28 individuals covering 9 different sports, highlighting the demand for increased support. The overall standard was high, making the selection process appropriately challenging.
Cllr Angus McCormack, Chair of Education, Sport and Children’s Services, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to work with our partners at sportscotland to support this innovative scheme for a second year. Our young people continue to show that they can compete with those from other areas of the country, given the opportunity. I wish them all well for the coming year.”
Councillor Charlie Nicolson the Comhairle’s representative on Lewis and Harris Sports Council participated in the selection process as an advisor and was impressed by the range and quality of the applications, he said:
“Once again it was a pleasure to see the efforts that our young people, and their families, are making to participate at high levels in sport. I was impressed with the way the panel carried out the challenging selection process. I look forward to watching how all the athletes’ progress in the future.”
As part of their commitment to the scheme Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Sport & Health team, alongside their coaches, will now monitor each athlete’s progress through the coming year.
ISLES ATHLETE TRAVEL AWARD SCHEME AWARDS
LIVE STREAMING EVENT FROM STORNOWAY ON FRIDAY
The Pipe Major Donald Macleod MBE Memorial Competition, being held in Stornoway on Friday April 5th and sponsored by Point and Sandwick Trust is to be live streamed as of this year.
Organisers hope to reach piping fans in the four corners of the globe, and ultimately grow the live audience, by broadcasting the piping competition online.
The address for the live stream is www.piobdm.com and it is being managed by the Comhairle’s Multi-Media Unit, with sound engineering by Wee Studio.
The event commemorates the musical legacy of Donald Macleod – a piper and composer from Stornoway, whose tunes include the piobaireachd the Lament for the Iolaire.
The competition is run by the Lewis and Harris Piping Society and there were fears it would have to be moved to the mainland to cut costs, until community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust stepped in with a five-year £25,000 sponsorship deal to keep it in Stornoway.
Eight of the best pipers in the world are invited to take part in the Donald Macleod and taking part this year are Willie McCallum, Roddy Macleod MBE, Callum Beaumont, Stuart Liddell, Glenn Brown, Finlay Johnston, Iain Speirs and Dr Peter McCalister.
LEWIS & HARRIS YOUTH CONCERT BAND GET THE GOLD
On Friday 15th March a total of 38 pupils from the Nicolson Institute and Tolsta Primary including Conductors Gavin Woods & Calum Watt set off in three minibuses and with an equipment van for the finals of the Scottish Concert Band Festival.
They had a busy weekend ahead of them with a rehearsal in Trinity Church, Stirling, that evening followed by a stay in Stirling Youth Hostel. The next morning saw a final rehearsal in Trinity Church, before the band made its way to Perth where the finals were being held in the town’s Concert Hall.
Perth Concert Hall is one of the biggest venues the band has ever played in, making the performance a daunting prospect for some of the younger members. Despite this, the Lewis and Harris Youth Concert Band rose to the occasion and delivered a performance to be proud of and all the hard work had paid off when the Lewis and Harris Youth Concert Band won gold!
Gavin Woods, conductor, said: “The standard of the band has increased dramatically over the last two years as a result of their hard work in preparation for the Scottish Concert Band Festival. We are delighted to now have reached gold standard and will look to continue working at this level as the competition’s standards continue to rise.”
A special thanks goes to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Tolsta Community Development Ltd and Car Hire Hebrides without whose support the band’s success wouldn’t have been possible.
WINDFARM ENTERS CONSTRUCTION PHASE
A community wind farm project on the island of North Uist is entering the construction phase after a fundraising campaign raised a total of £452,850 – more than £100,000 more than the community needed for its equity stake in the project.
North Uist Development Company (Trading) are delighted with the final figure for UistWind, the project which will build two 900kW turbines at Criongrabhal, near Clachan-na-Luib, and raise more than £2million over the project’s lifetime for the community to invest in good causes.
North Uist Development Company (Trading) expressed their delight at the sum raised – and thanked all the investors who made it possible, as well as the organisations and lenders which supported the project.
Thanks must go to Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) for significant financial support and also to Triodos Bank UK, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Ministry of Defence, the Western Isles Development Trust, Local Energy Scotland, Community Energy Scotland.
and to Western Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil.
Uistwind said: ‘The biggest thanks, have to go to all those who put their faith in the project and invested their money – as well as to the wider Uist community and all the community energy projects from across Scotland which gave encouragement and advice to UistWind at times of pressure’.