Shinty star: Governing body freshen up board with appointment of Kirsty Deans

Scotland captain Kirsty Deans. Pic, Neil G Paterson

Shinty’s governing body has moved to appoint one of the sport’s top female stars to its board of directors.

The Camanachd Association has co-opted Kirsty Deans to help with planning for a return to shinty and to support the school of Shinty programme, which has been piloted in Highland secondaries.

Kirsty, who is a PE teacher, is the current Badenoch Ladies captain and starred in her team’s national division title triumph in 2019.

She has played shinty for Scotland and football in the Scottish women’s premier league for Forfar Farmington.

More recently she joined the women’s squad of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, which plays in the championship north.

Kirsty Deans in action against Skye

Kirsty will bring a wealth of experience in the game to the board as well as a fresh perspective and expertise on how the association can further the game at junior level, having worked in both Kingussie and Forres High Schools over her six year career.

Kirsty said:“I was absolutely delighted to be asked to join the board and one of the main reasons I was keen to take on this role was because of the opportunity it gave me to try and help improve and move the game forward.

“As a player I am passionate about the sport and thoroughly enjoy all aspects from training and playing to coaching.

“This role adds another dimension and a chance for me to learn more about the game but also work to improve the experience of those currently playing. I feel I can provide a fresh perspective as a younger member of the board but also as someone with a football background and an occupation working with young people.

“Shinty has progressed massively in recent years and this has been really encouraging to see and I hope that this is something that I can help support and this will hopefully be furthered by the development of the school programs.

“I think this is a really challenging time for all sports, however, I have embraced these challenges so far and I hope I can keep contributing positively and support a return to youth and adult shinty in the near future.”

Keith Loades, Camanachd Association President said: “Kirsty is an exciting addition to our Board of Directors who will add a great deal to what is an already very strong and multi-talented group of people.

“We look forward to working with her more closely as we aim to return our sport to some kind of normality and her expertise in Schools within the Highland Region can only help us further the School of Shinty programme.”

No timetable for a return to competitive shinty has been set, though the green light has been given for youth teams to train – albeit on a limited numbers basis.