Camanachd Leodhais caught up in ferry fiasco
Shinty on Lewis has been dealt a severe blow by the ongoing ferry crisis linked to Covid restrictions.
Camanchd Leodhais have announced withdrawal from all competitions for the time being with hopes of a return in late summer if ferry availability improves.
In a statement, the club said: “Despite making every effort to take part in this season’s competition, including foregoing home matches and hiring 50 seater coaches to comply with social distancing for each match, the current ferry situation has made playing games in June and July untenable.
“Due to Covid restrictions, CalMac are limited to 30 per cent capacity and as things stand there is no space for group bookings on Saturday sailings for the next eight weeks.
“Unfortunately, due to the enormous costs involved, waiting week by week for cancellations is not feasible and would put undue stress on volunteer officials. The club hopes as social distancing rules on vessels are relaxed that given the special circumstances of this season, one round of fixtures may be possible in the late summer”
The club said that this possibility has the support of the sport’s ruling body, the Camanachd Association, and thanked them for their help during the decision-making process.
Two weeks ago, club captain Donald Lamont told the Gazette of the struggles they were facing to compete this season and added: “It is going to be hugely challenging but we feel that another season without shinty would cause long term damage to the club”.
For the time being at least, the challenges – for reasons entirely outwith the control of Camanachd Leodhais – have proved just too great.