Skye footballers to take on fundraising challenge for local food initiatives

Having a ball: The Sleat and Strath players were all smiles ahead of their fundraising run this Saturday.

Seven players from the Sleat and Strath football team on Skye will put their out-of-season fitness to the test this Saturday all in the name of charity.

Donald Fraser, Josh Knowles, Lachlan Macinnes, Martin MacKinnon, Roddy Macleod, and Ben and Connaire Yoxon have decided to take on the challenge of running across the catchment area served by Broadford and Strath Community Company to raise funds and awareness for the community organisation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the BSCC has overseen a range of initiatives that have provided hot meals, food shares, and fresh vegetables for members of the local community.

Speaking to the Free Press ahead of the players’ challenge this Saturday (27th June), Ben Yoxon underlined the importance of the work carried out by the community company.

He said: “Broadford and Strath Community Company has been such a lifeline to the community, particularly during these recent times.

“As soon as the lockdown was discussed BSCC was on the ball and put in place procedures to support their catchment area.

“Their tireless work has helped countless people, with home deliveries, the food share, and hot food opportunities for the whole area.

“Even outwith the pandemic times they play such a pivotal role in the area.

“We are running this event more as a thank you to them and to raise support for the amazing work they are doing around the area.

“They do so much in the community without much recognition and hopefully our efforts will offer them the thanks they deserve.”

The players will start their challenge at midday on Saturday and will aim to run the length and breadth of the catchment area of Broadford and Strath Community Company which equates to around 45 miles in total.

Happy days: The Sleat players celebrate after clinching their third cup of the 2019 season 2019, however, the 2020 season has been put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on how the players have been coping without football at a time in which they would, ordinarily, have been competing in the Skye and Lochalsh Football League season, Ben went on to say: “We should be well into our season now and training on a regular basis.

“We have all been making the effort to stay fit with regular exercise, even Connaire and Josh have been for the odd jog.

“We’re all looking forward to training again when it is safe to do so.

“Donald has been working hard to try and encourage the Broadford youth football teams to make the most of their exercise time and keep them healthy.

“The kids have taken on this challenge with great enthusiasm and have put in a lot of effort.

“Others have been helping around the community and volunteering their time to support the BSCC’s work, as well as other projects around the island.

“We are excited to get back to playing again and look forward to seeing our teammates and opponents when it is safe to do so.”

A rough approximation of the area the players will be covering on Saturday during their run.

He added: “A small donation to our cause would be gratefully received from ourselves at Sleat and Strath, and, more importantly, by BSCC.

“Thank you to Broadford and Strath Community Company for your tireless efforts for all of us.”

Broadford and Strath Community Company project coordinator Norma Morrison told the Free Press that they were “delighted” with the players’ plan to support the food and meal share initiatives.

She went on to say: “The route around the Broadford and Strath catchment area will be challenging for the runners but we will look forward to supporting them every step of the way.”

The food share scheme, which is sited at the Broadford Village Hall, is one of the local initiatives which has been spearheaded by the Broadford and Strath Community Company.

Reflecting on the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had in the area, Norma said: “Covid-19 has been challenging for all our communities but the local responses have been just brilliant and any fundraising which helps us to carry on with our projects is much appreciated especially as our normal fundraising routes become more of a challenge.

“Please keep an eye out for the team and give them a shout of encouragement as they pass!”

To donate to the Sleat and Strath players fundraising endeavour, click here.