Piping event to honour Eilidh Macleod

Eilidh MacLeod at Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships 2017.
Eilidh MacLeod at Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships 2017.

The world’s biggest school pipe band championships have paid tribute to a young piper who died in the Manchester Arena attack by naming a special award after her.

Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships created The Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award to commemorate the memory of the talented piper from Barra who was only 14 when she fell victim to the tragic bombing incident.

Having started playing bagpipes at the age of eight, Eilidh’s dedication to the craft would see her set off on a two-hour journey – which included a ferry passage – every few weeks, to train with Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band in Benbecula.

Created to recognise bands that achieve more than just a competitive edge, The Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award will be awarded to groups that can demonstrate attributes such as perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges, community contribution, enthusiasm and camaraderie, innovation and efforts to include everyone regardless of circumstances.

Eilidh’s father, Roddy MacLeod, said: “We were incredibly touched when we were asked by Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships if they could name this exceptional award after Eilidh.

“It really means a lot to our family to have her memory honoured by the piping community like this, as it was such a big part of her life.

“It was Eilidh’s idea to start learning to play - she loved the sound of bagpipes. She would always stop to watch buskers and pipers in town and had so much admiration for them.

“She started playing the practice chanter when she was seven and moved on to bagpipes at the age of eight. She was the youngest one in class when she started.

“The influence that being a part of a school band had on her was immense - it was shaping her into an amazing young woman.

“It gave her a way to express herself, become more confident and resilient as well as build long-lasting friendships with other young people from around Scotland. “The camaraderie amongst pipers and drummers is really strong and we could see the positive effect it was having on Eilidh’s life.

“Having to travel all the way to Benbecula to practice meant she was missing some Fridays at school but she was very diligent in keeping up with her school work because her band practice meant so much to her.”

To find out more about the Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award, visit: https://thechampionships.org.uk/enter-championships/endeavour-award-nomination/