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Ben MacDonald, winner of the Sàr Cluicheadair na Gàidhlig award

A school football team from the Isle of Lewis reached the final of a national competition – while a player from Balivanich won the award for the best use of Gaelic during the contest. 

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu were victorious in winning Cuach na Cloinne 2024, taking the trophy home to Glasgow for the second year in a row after beating Sgoil an Rubha 2-1 in the National Final in Inverness on Wednesday 29 May. 

Cuach na Cloinne is a national 5-a-side football competition aimed at young people in Gaelic Medium Education, in primary 4-7 all over the country.

Six regional competitions were held during April and May, in Portree, Lionacleit, Stornoway, Inverness, Glasgow, and Fort William, with the successful team from each regional competition earning their place in the national final.

The 6 teams that participated in the final were:

  • Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh
  • Sgoil an Rubha
  • Balivanich Primary School
  • Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar
  • Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis
  • Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu

The Cuach na Cloinne trophy was awarded by Marina Murray, Development Director at Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG).

The Sàr Cluicheadair na Gàidhlig award went to Ben MacDonald from Balivanich Primary School. This award is given to the player that was outstanding in his use of Gaelic during the competition and chosen by the referees.

Marina Murray, Development Director at CnaG, which runs the competition, said: “This year’s competition has seen the largest number of teams competing, with 109 teams taking part.

"During the regional competitions and the final, we saw how capable young people are, both with their football skills and with their Gaelic language skills.

"Cuach na Cloinne is primarily about young people having fun, meeting other young people from across Scotland, and using their Gaelic outside of school in more relaxed surroundings."

Ealasaid MacDonald, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Ceannard (CEO), said: “It is great to follow this competition every year and to see all the wonderful pictures and videos that are taken at the heats. It is great to see young people from across Scotland come together, make new friends and speak Gaelic, all with a healthy level of competition!"

Dr Donald Weir, Gaelic Support Officer for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are delighted to have supported Cuach na Cloinne 2024. This competition has been essential over the years in encouraging young people to use Gaelic in a natural situation outside of the classroom, while also taking part in an activity that they enjoy. Congratulations to all teams and every player that took part!”

Comunn na Gàidhlig are now preparing for Cuach nan Àrd-sgoiltean, which is set to take place next Wednesday 5 June.

Cuach na Cloinne 2024 was funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and The Highland Council, and organized by Comunn na Gàidhlig.