Tag Archives: sports

School Sports Day

school_sports_2014The annual school sports day took place on Monday 16th June and to everyone’s relief, the day dawned warm and dry.

An event like this demands a great deal of planning and preparation and staff and pupils alike had been hard at work during the preceding weeks under the excellent guidance of Mrs Hannah MacKechnie who, in the absence of a P.E. teacher, had taken on the task of organising the day.

This year we were keen to recognise Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games and this, coupled with the challenge of low pupil numbers in the Secondary Department, led to the idea of devising a whole school Commonwealth Games event. Mrs MacKechnie met with Primary Department teachers and Will Wright, our Active Schools Coordinator, and after much discussion and exchanging of ideas, the Commonwealth Games Obstacle Race was born.

The race incorporated all ten of the compulsory Commonwealth Games sports including hockey, boxing, swimming, athletics, weight-lifting, rugby and badminton. Some imagination and creativity was required, e.g. the boxing aspect of the race involved climbing through a box and our aquatic event involved carrying a cup of water to a basin with the team collecting most water winning extra points! In order to take account of the range of ages taking part, pupils in P.1-P.5 competed in the race first, with pupils in P.6-S.6 running a more challenging version afterward.

We were delighted that some parents and carers were able to attend the Commonwealth Race which took place during the morning of Sports Day. Primary pupils had painted flags representing various Commonwealth countries and these were displayed on the fencing around the all-weather pitch. It was good to see so many pupils putting in lots of effort and also displaying good teamwork by supporting and encouraging the other members of their teams. Every pupil taking part earned points for their House and at lunchtime pupils received a Gold, Silver or Bronze (coloured) medal for their efforts.

The afternoon brought with it the more traditional races and those members of the community who were able to come along enthusiastically cheered on the participants. The Flat, Potato and Spoon, Sack, Three Legged and Wheelbarrow races were followed by Relay races and Hockey and Football Dribbles. Before the grand finale, the Tug of War, took place the adults were given their chance to show off their sporting prowess – congratulations to Mrs Hannah MacKechnie and Mr Edward Campbell who carried off the honours!

We would like to extend our warmest thanks to everyone who helped to make this important day such a resounding success; to the families and friends of the children, to the Parent Council for organising a delicious range of ‘eats’, to all members of staff and to all of the children who practised hard beforehand and who gave 100% on the day. We are also sincerely grateful to Mrs MacKechnie who put in so many hours of hard work in order to ensure that everything ran smoothly and successfully. To you all, thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at Sports Day 2015!

From Russia With Love For Wind, Sea and Sand

Russian surfersTwo young Russian women have been telling how they flew from their home city of Moscow to take lessons in surfing on Tiree.

The women. both in their early thirties, have been staying in the Millhouse Hostel while receiving instruction from the staff of surfing firm Wild Diamond. Anastasia Poganova and Alevtina Balushkina, left for home yesterday after spending two weeks on Tiree, but they vowed they would be back.

Said Alevtina who speaks excellent English: ”Apart from the beauty of the island the main attraction is the people who are so friendly and welcoming. ‘We both have had a wonderful time here and we plan to come back soon on our holidays again. Apart from learning to surf on different beautiful beaches we did a lot of walking. It is so safe to walk here and so pleasant to meet the local residents.”We went to the Church of Scotland and met Elspeth the lady minister and everyone was so friendly. We attended a wedding in the church and we had dinner in someone’s home after being invited. ”

Anastasia, an accountant with a big firm in Moscow, who surfed in Portugal last year, said, ”I felt that I needed more lessons to upgrade my standard and taking lessons here was ideal. Although the water in Portugal is warm compared to Tiree we were supplied with wet suits and that kept us snug and warm. We both have had a wonderful time.”

Alevtina, whose father worked in Russia’s oil industry before retiring to a cottage in the country outside Moscow, lived with her family in Siberia from the age of six until she left age 16 to go to university in England. She is now manager of a large firm based in Moscow. She said “People keep telling me about the long hard winters here on Tiree – but in Siberia winter lasts for nine months – and has sub zero temperatures”

Story and image by Ian Sharp

Tiree Association Annual Sports

tugofwarThe sun shone and the crowds gathered signalling the start of the Annual Tiree Association Sports Day.

We were very lucky with the weather this year and sunscreen was a must! Curam kindly provided tea and sandwiches and raised £396 including donations. We were also entertained by the Tiree Pipe Band and am sure the skirl of the bagpipes inspired our competitors during the day.

Roraigh Hughes impressed on the bagpipes and won the piping competition. The Junior Girls Medal was won by Morag McEwan and the Junior Boys Medal was won for the 2nd year running by Murray Webster. Murray also won the J M MacKechnie Cup for most points in the Junior Section.

In the adults section, the Burnett family from Linlithgow had a great day with Katherine Burnett winning the Ladies Challenge Cup and her husband Richard Burnett triumphing in the Mens Track & Field events by winning the Kennedy Cup. The men’s heavy events were also very well supported and very competitive. Ewan Brown won a hotly contested Caber with Gavin Omand winning the Hammer and Iain Hamilton winning the Shot. Iain Hamilton won the McLaine Cameron Cup for most points in the Heavy Events and Richard Burnett won the Straker Cup for most points in the Mens Section.

Perhaps the highlight of the day for the crowd was the traditional Residents vs Non Residents Tug o War which was won by the Non Resident Men and the Resident Ladies. As is traditional, the winning Ladies team challenged the Men’s team and triumphed with Mairi Anne Munn captaining the winning Ladies’ team.

Once again we are very grateful to Mairi Campbell for the use of the Corrairigh hammer, which has now been thrown at the Tiree Association sport for many years and to Tiree High School for the use of the School Pitches and to Tommy Monaghan for all his assistance during the day.

BKSA Wavemasters – 16th To 21st September 2013 – A First For Tiree

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABritish Kitesports is the National Governing Body for the sport of Kitesurfing and is bringing the Wavemasters 2013 to the Isle of Tiree for the very first time.

The competition, now in its 8th year, has come to Scotland mainland however has never come to Tiree.

Kitesurfers use surfboards and kites to ride the waves and score points to advance in the competition in a knock out format. The kites are water re-launchable and if they go down in the surf will pop into the air again. Riders try and get the longest and biggest waves to score highly in their 7 minute heats.

We are excited to come to the Isle of Tiree and sample the wind and waves it has to offer to make the week a memorable one – top riders from across the UK will be coming. Defending their titles are Scots George Noble from Fraseburgh and Kierra Alwood ( now residing in Norwich).

The competition starts on the Tuesday and runs through to Saturday at various beaches on the island depending on the wind direction.

Three In A Row For Proffitt At Tiree Wave Classic

Ben Proffitt

Ben Proffitt in action

Star windsurfer Ben Proffitt has made it an unprecedented three Tiree Wave Classic wins in a row.

His thrilling “expression session” masterclass was enough for the Shropshire star to secure first place in the pro fleet.

“I’m really really happy,” said Ben, 34, one of a dozen world-class competitors making up the professional fleet. “Patience was needed with the weather proving fickle throughout the six days of competition. This week’s been hard – but let’s not forget we’ve had a result in every category – so Tiree’s delivered again – and to win it for the third time – it does feel good,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of top ranked riders here – it’s great.”

The pros battled it out in two twenty minute semi-finals, with a four man showpiece making up the final. “They were long heats – and you really had to pick the waves but I quite like those conditions, it’s something I practiced on in Australia in the winter – hard waves to get on to – but once you’re on – really fast,” said Ben.

The amateur contest was won by Cornish sailor Ian Ross, with the ladies event also going to Cornwall, with Debbie Kennedy triumphing – also for the third straight time. Keeping up the hat-trick theme, Troon’s Davey Edmiston won the Masters title for the third time, and Tris Levie from Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae won the youth category.

Event organiser Jim Brooks-Dowsett said: “We’ve had a fantastic week. We’ve had some very unexpected weather, plenty of sunshine and uncharacteristically warm for this time of year. We’ve travelled around the island, and used three of the beaches, which has been lovely,” said Jim. “While we were waiting for conditions at times, it’s still been great – these guys really know how to make the most of whatever conditions came up and we saw some great performances.” “We really are grateful for the support of EventScotland and Argyll & Bute Council and we’re looking forward to working with them again in 2013,” he said. “We’d also like to say a really massive thank you to Argyll Estates, who are good enough to allow us access to the beaches, it’s always hugely appreciated.” “There are many other people we’d like to thank, including Willie Angus at Wild Diamond, everyone at the Tiree Lodge Hotel, Fiona and the team at the Scaranish, Sophie from the Tiree Youth Club and really everyone else who’s helped in any way – we couldn’t have the event without the support of the community of Tiree and we’re very grateful. It’s been a fantastic event, we’ve had some great live Scottish performers up here all week as well, with Tommy Armstrong, and an AC/DC tribute too – we can’t wait to be back,” said Jim.

Golfing Glory For Tiree Juniors

Tiree has a Tiger Woods in the making with 6-year-old Jack MacCaskill from Vaul becoming the island’s youngest member of Vaul Golf Club to gain junior handicap status.

Last month, at the age of just five, Jack completed three formal rounds of golf to a standard which achieved him a junior handicap of 54 – a first for Vaul Golf Club. An achievement all the more impressive given that Jack only picked up the golf clubs three months ago. But practice makes perfect and over the last couple of months, Jack has been out on the green every day, come rain or shine, perfecting his putting and drive under the watchful eye of his big brother Ben, 12, and dad, John.

Golf Club’s Captain, Alun Jones, is delighted to have such promising young talent on the island: “Here at Vaul Golf Club we take junior membership very seriously – the more juniors you have today, the more full members you have in the future. “Being such a small membership club and with the challenges of our location and population, membership numbers are critical for the Club’s survival and sustainability. It is fantastic news that Jack managed to get his official handicap at the tender age of five and I hope this gives encouragement to other juniors to come and join in especially as membership fees for any pupil at Tiree school are free of charge. Thanks to our Match & Handicap Secretary John MacCaskill for all his hard work & time spent in promoting our new junior section.” And it seems Jack isn’t the only junior going for golfing glory on Tiree. Big brother Ben, 12, and Bernie Smith Jnr, 14, recently achieved Junior Golf Handicaps of 36 and 40 respectively, reviving the club’s junior section.

And on Friday 11 May, Bernie also won the Junior Medal – the first formal handicapped junior competition to be played at Vaul Golf Club in over 15 years. Vaul Golf Club is also delighted to welcome its newest addition to the Junior Section – Dan Johnstone, 11, from Caoles who’ll be playing for his junior handicap in the coming weeks. Ed Hodge, PR & Media Executive, Scottish Golf Union added “It’s always great to hear about young people getting involved and joining in the game as part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s also great to hear of success stories, so well done to Jack, Ben & Bernie.”

Situated on the east end of the island, Vaul Golf Club welcomes golfers, young and old, to join. Visitors to the island are also invited to pick up their putter and head to Vaul to enjoy a hassle-free round of golf against Tiree’s stunning backdrop. Simply pay your day ticket in the clubhouse ‘Honesty Box’ before hitting the green.

For further information visit the Vaul Golf Club Website.

Tiree 10k Scorcher


There is little doubt that Tiree is the sunniest place in the UK – that fact was proved with Tiree getting the highest UK sunshine hours in April and May this year – 270 hours in May! The Tiree 10k weekend was one of the hottest with temperatures up into the mid thirties.

So it was in those conditions that runners, walkers, kids and pram pushers lined up on the beach start line ready to sweat it out over 10km. Overall winner Owain Williams finished in a time of 39:32 – “this was my third attempt at getting a top podium finish on Tiree. I would say this year was the toughest yet. The heat was unbelievable but the water stops were a welcome sight. My time was much slower than I had hoped and trained for but Tiree is my favourite race; a home race but also something a bit different – a bit of beach running, some road running and a fantastic dance at the end.”

The fastest female runner was Catherine Stewart (43:44) – “The last kilometre is always tough – jelly legs and sand running do not mix well, but it’s all part of why I love this event.” One of the top local finishers was Stewart MacLennan (48:21) – “a fantastic day and evening dance. I was also pretty chuffed with my time considering the tropical heat which at times was not fun!! Looking forward to 2013!!”

The Tiree 10k started in 2006 with 40 runners and each year has grown with over 200 runners last year. The age range stretches from several months in the pram push to over 70 years. Spot prizes were awarded this year to Jimmy, Susan and Allanah Kyle, Sophie Isaacson, and our pram pushers – Jo, Mark, Eilidh and Carrie. Congratulations to everyone who completed the event.

running 10k

So, despite the last minute ferry delay which meant about 75 runners were stuck in Oban and had to go home, we still had a great turn out from local residents and visitors who entered into the spirit of the event and made for a successful day rounded off with an amazing dance with Trail West.

There was a group of 33 runners and walkers who travelled from Mull and Iona as well as a group from Coll, both groups having chartered their own boats to get here. Mhairi Killin from Iona said: “My friend Nikki inspired us all to achieve something we thought we couldn’t achieve. It was a great experience.” For more information on the inspiring story behind the Iona Runners go to http://www.justgiving.com/NicolaHodge.

Next year we are due for a change, the Hynish course has been used for 3 years now so it’s time to shake things up. I’d be interested to hear any ideas or suggestions for developing the event. Thanks again everyone who took part or contributed to the success of the 2012 Tiree 10k. Full results can be found at http://www.tireefitness.co.uk/

Windsurfers will descend on Tiree for 25th Anniversary of Tiree Wave Classic.

Tiree Wave Classic

The Tiree Wave Classic is the most prestigious and longest standing windsurfing event in the British calender, this year celebrating its 25th Anniversary and looking back over the event’s history.

The event will play host to Britain’s best riders in Pro, Amateur, Masters and Women’s fleets with a fantastic prize fund guaranteeing the top Pro £1000 and as well as many other top prizes, a newly launched Pura Vida Custom Quad to the amateur judged to deserve it most!

It will be an unmissable, adrenaline fuelled week of competition and entertainment set against the breathtaking backdrop of Tiree’s spectacular scenery. Who will pull the Scottish Broadsword from the sand?

Andy Groom who’s back on the event team and was the founder of this Wave Classic way back in 1986 said “ It will be great to have guests like Farrel O’shea, Nik Baker and Duncan Coombes among other past legends there this year. To see such a great event and the standard of sailing that we’ve hit over 25 years has been amazing, I can’t wait to enjoy this milestone”

Simmer rider Ben Proffit, the 2010 BWA Champion, said: “I absolutely love taking part in this event – for me it’s one of the highlights of the year and can deliver any conditions. The championship could be anyone’s at the moment and I’m super keen to win here and have another shot at the title”

Organisers Pura Vida Boardriders are honoured to be involved with the Tiree Wave Classic and promise to deliver an outstanding event for this special 25th year. Jim Brooks-Dowsett, Event organiser said: “Tiree is one of those stunning locations you really have to visit at least once, and the waves can be awesome! Since the competition was founded by Andy Groom 25 years ago it’s always been the one to watch and read about in the magazines, and with the return of a few past legends this year will be a week to remember, stoked to be involved!”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency said: “ We are delighted to be supporting the Tiree Wave Classic for the eighth year as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. It is great to see the increasing attraction of Tiree as a water sports’ destination as it has certainly proven over the years to be a perfect stage for this event.”

The Tiree Wave Classic will take place from 8th – 15th October 2011, more info can be found at www.tireewaveclassic.co.uk, all enquiries: [email protected]

Tiree Regatta 2010 Review

Tiree regatta 2010

The morning of Sat 7th Aug, Regatta Day, was no different from most days this summer;
damp, grey and windy. Not very promising, but by noon, the skies had cleared with the wind easing back to a brisk northerly, giving Regatta Day glorious conditions for both sailing and shore events.

The start line was impressive with 13 boats jostling for position, the most Tiree Regatta has had for some years. The boats included the Tiree renovated lugs, Daisy and Morag Anne, and a stunning 26 ft gaff ketch Freya, which had sailed in from Iona the previous evening. Even more impressive was the actual start, with most of the boats making a perfect start. To the non sailors on the shore it was obvious that a very competitive race had begun.

At the 1st mark, a gybe, there was some very aggressive tactical sailing with Angus Maclean’s Catadh Mara taking the perfect inside line forcing Magnus Laird’s Soa to the outside. Spark, the catamaran, was revelling in the brisk conditions, and notwithstanding having to make an additional round of the course, won the Concise Cup.

Tiree regatta Lug boats

The Lugs battled it out with Morag Anne taking the Skippinish Cup just nudging the “all-lady” crewed Passing Cloud on the line. Regrettably 2 of the lugs were forced to retire with jammed rudders which had been caught in creel lines.

Shore-side, Anna Macdonald and Christine Macarthur were having a marathon pillow fight contest. The referee had to call a time-out for everyone, including spectators, to get their breath back, after which Anna and Christine slugged it out to an epic conclusion.

For the Raft Race, the Airport Fire team entered the most radical raft design Tiree had seen for many a day. It was a light alloy monocoque hull with asymmetric outriggers. Alas the conditions on the day did not favour such advanced technology, as on the mark, the raft’s windage caused a capsize, upending the crew, who then had to battle to prevent their raft sailing off, unmanned, to Mull.

The Regatta drew to a close with the traditional Trawler race being fought out in its unique colourful way, viewed closely by many visitors, and Tirisdich, from Skippinish Tour’s Rib, on a high speed cruise around the bay in the warm afternoon sun.

For full results see www.tireeregatta.org.uk

Tiree’s own Ironman

Will Wright

I’m sure many of you will have seen Will Wright whizzing around the island on his bike in recent months! Well all his hard work and dedicated training paid off last weekend when he completed an Ironman distance triathlon with an amazing time and competition placing.

The event was held in Nottingham at the National Water sports centre and consisted of a 2.4 mile Swim (I got very nervous when I couldn’t see the end of the lake!), a 112 mile Bike ride, and a 26.2 mile Run (marathon distance).

Will completed the event in 10 hours 35 minutes exceeding his own expectations of wanting to finish in under 12 hours and came a fantastic 56th out of 750 finishers (roughly a 1000 started but many didn’t complete.)

To add to the occasion the event was 3 days before Will’s 30th birthday and all of his family had made it from different parts of the UK to support and cheer him on including his 90 year old Grandad!

It was a really wonderful weekend and a massive achievement for Will. He had such determination and pushed himself so hard that I nearly burst with pride at the finish line. So I know he will hate me putting this in but I had to say Well Done Wills & a very Happy Birthday!

Becky Wright

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