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Despite the continuing challenges of Covid-19, the well known football event ‘Cuach na Cloinne’ will take place again in 2021 – albeit in a different style. 

Beginning on Friday May 7, online sessions will provide young people, in Gaelic medium education in Scotland, with an opportunity to learn new skills and gain a deeper understanding of the game through conversations and interviews with professional footballers.

This is happening as a result of a new partnership between Comunn na Gàidhlig and FC Sonas, and with another new addition, the resource will be available for both primary and secondary schools to take part – the first time it has been possible for secondary schools to take in Cuach na Cloinne.

Throughout May, a session will be available to schools and young people each Friday morning, with an opportunity for pupils to then practice the challenges and skills they’ve seen, in their local area.

Marina Murray, Development Director at Comunn na Gàidhlig said, “Cuach na Cloinne has built up a good reputation and is now firmly established in the school calendar, with the children all looking forward to playing in it.  We are looking forward to a different opportunity this year which will keep the event interesting and attractive to participants.It is important that pupils going through Gaelic medium education are provided with opportunities to use their language outwith the classroom and through sport.”

“I am delighted to be working in partnership with FC Sonas and want to record my gratitude to the sponsors of Cuach na Cloinne, without whose assistance the competition wouldn’t happen. They are Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and The Highland Council.”

Calum Ferguson, FC Sonas said “We are really happy to be working with CnaG to deliver Cuach na Cloinne online this year! Although we still can’t meet together, we hope this event will attract pupils in both primary and secondary schools – and coaches throughout Scotland! “

“The online sessions for players and coaches are an educational resource to assist pupils, teachers and coaches develop their skills using football as a tool!”

 The programme will include and showcase Gaelic speakers in the football world, both players and experts. Providing information through interviews, challenges and much more each session. There will also be an opportunity for coaches/teachers to develop their coaching skills as part of the event. These sessions will also be held online.

Cuach na Cloinne is a national football competition, which creates an opportunity for young people from schools across Scotland who attend Gaelic Medium Education to meet and compete against each other and combines their Gaelic linguistic and footballing skills in an inclusive and entertaining manner. The competition is held entirely in Gaelic.  It was not possible to hold the usual style of competition this year as a result of the impact of Covid-19, so we hope this will maintain interest of young people in football and allow them to play the sport while using their Gaelic and learn new skills, while staying local. This could become an important resource, which could be used even when opportunities to travel and meet return. Schools all over Scotland are registering to take part in the event which begins on Friday 7th May at 10am.

Cuach na Cloinne 2021 is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and The Highland Council and organised by Comunn na Gàidhlig.