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After the success of Cuach na Cloinne with primary schools over the years, this year Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG) held Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean, as a pilot event, this week.

Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean took place at Canal Park in Inverness yesterday (Wednesday 22 June).

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu won the very first competition beating The Nicolson Institute in the final.

The schools that took part in the first Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean were:

  • Inverness Royal Academy
  • Ardnamurchan High School
  • Dingwall Academy
  • Sgoil Lionacleit
  • Sir E Scott School
  • Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu
  • The Nicolson Institute
  • Tobermory High School

Cuach na Cloinne is a national 5-a-side football competition aimed at young people all over the country with Gaelic in P4-7. This year 85 teams took part in the competition.

Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean follows a similar 5-a-side format and is open to high school pupils in S1-2, who speak Gaelic. There is an added rule for this competition where each team was required to have at least 2 girls on each team, and one girl should be on the pitch at all times.

The competition was open to S1-2 pupils as they had missed out on the opportunity to take part in the usual Cuach na Cloinne competition during Covid while they were still in primary school. For the this first competition, high schools in areas where there are CnaG Iomairt Officers took part.

CnaG made the decision to run this pilot as many high school pupils kept mentioning how much they had enjoyed Cuach na Cloinne while they were at primary school, and would be keen for another opportunity to take part again. The competition had also provided them the opportunity to interact with other young people across the country in an engaging and fun environment, all while using Gaelic.

Marina Murray, Development Director at CnaG, said:“It was fantastic that we had the opportunity to run this competition for the first time, allowing young people showcase their football and Gaelic skills at the same time. These events give young people the opportunity to have fun, and to connect with other young Gaelic speakers from all over the country outside of the classroom environment. This event was a pilot, and we are gathering feedback from the young people who took part so that we can develop the competition for next year.”

Shona MacLennan, CEO Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said:“Congratulations to the pupils of Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu and indeed to each and every pupil who took part in the competition! It gives us great joy to be involved in such an important project for the youth in offering them opportunities to use their Gaelic outwith the classroom. It is great to see this project being developed to now include pupils in secondary education. Not only that but it adds to wellbeing and the aims of the National Plan to normalize Gaelic. Keep it up!”

Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and administered by Comunn na Gàidhlig.