Although the pandemic means shinty’s Blue Riband event, the Camanachd Cup Final, will not be played as scheduled at Kingussie this coming weekend, sponsors Tulloch Homes have offered significant support to the game’s governing body.
The Inverness-based company will donate its sponsorship fee despite the competition not being played due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
George Fraser, chief executive of the Highlands’ largest housebuilder, revealed:”We want to show our support for the sport, and the Camanachd Association, at an extremely difficult time.
“It’s tough for the Association’s budget with such reduced income, so I spoke to our chairman Tom Allison, who is also a director of Celtic FC, and he gave the go-ahead to finance a competition which hasn’t happened.
“We’ve had reduced income ourselves, only reopening two months ago, but feel it is important to stand by shinty. We now look forward to sponsoring the 125th anniversary Camanachd Cup final at Kingussie in a year’s time and for the following two seasons.”
Camanachd Association president Keith Loades stressed the body’s gratitude. “It’s a hugely valuable financial and morale boost after such a terrible year”, he said.
“Tulloch’s decision will be widely appreciated throughout the shinty strongholds. It proves they are a true friend of the game and the funding will help us deliver our programme of support to clubs going forward.
“George Fraser was one of the most successful shinty players, and an old opponent of mine, which makes this backing all the more satisfying. It helps underpin the game’s future.”
Newtonmore captain Michael Russell commented:”It’s an amazing gesture by Tulloch Homes – no one would have grudged if if they said they wouldn’t pay for a tournament which didn’t happen.”
Newtonmore equalled their club record last year by winning the trophy for the fourth consecutive season, and Russell added:”I’m sure the clubs, the Association and the fans will be delighted at the valuable commitment being shown by Tulloch.
“I’m very pleased that Kingussie, after all their organisation for this month’s final proved in vain, will be next year’s venue. “
Mr Fraser praised the successful partnership between Tulloch Homes and the Association in the firm’s sponsorship of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 finals. He also made special mention of the Association’s hard-working executive team, led by chief executive Derek Keir.
George Fraser has eight Camanachd Cup winners medals, including captaining Newtonmore to victory over Kyles Athletic in the 1975 final.
Picture shows Newtonmore captain Michael Russell with the Camanachd Cup, George Fraser (left), chief executive of Tulloch Homes, and Keith Loades, president of the Camanachd Association.
Help is at hand if you are looking to buy a Tulloch Home, but don’t have a large deposit.
If you are eligible for the Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build Scheme, you could receive assistance of up to 15% of the purchase price of a new Tulloch home.
Help to Buy funding - for completions before March 31, 2019, is available on all Tulloch homes up to £200,000.