Sgoil an Rubha’s sporting edge thanks to new strips from PST

Point pupils in the new strips with PST director Sonja Macleod (left), principal teacher Anne Macphail and PST general manager Donald John MacSween.
Point pupils in the new strips with PST director Sonja Macleod (left), principal teacher Anne Macphail and PST general manager Donald John MacSween.

Point school pupils have been given an edge in future sports competitions after community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust kitted them out, head to toe, in new strips.

The Trust sponsored two full sets of the strips for Sgoil an Rubha after its principal teacher, Anne Macphail, told PST general manager Donald John MacSween they were in need.

The school’s supply of strips had dwindled over the years to the point where they no longer had a full set — and those they did have were not in the best condition. Parents had begun to ask questions about why Sgoil an Rubha did not have strips, when so many other schools did, and the Parent Council had begun looking into where they could find the money for some.

But now the children have their new ones; sourced from Sportsworld in Stornoway and funded by £700 from PST, and are looking forward to wearing them in competitions. It also means the Parent Council is able to buy educational resources for the school instead.

Point and Sandwick’s donation to the school follows on from their sponsorship in the summer of strips for Point Football Club’s Under-18 squad.

Those strips brought the footballers luck right away as they won a local cup on their first outing. They also benefited youngsters in villages in Tanzania as the redundant strips were taken out to Africa by Alasdair Nicholson on his next trip out there to do voluntary work.

The strips for Sgoil an Rubha also mark the second time PST have supported the school directly, following last year’s donation to buy Lego sets for use in innovative play therapy.

Lego Play Therapy is increasingly being used as a therapeutic group activity to boost social and communication skills, and confidence — particularly for pupils who have additional support needs.

PST chairman Angus McCormack heralded the donation for Lego sets as “just the beginning of a very positive relationship with Sgoil and Rubha for Point and Sandwick Trust.”

He pledged to stay in touch with the school and to find “out ways that we can support them in the future”.

The sponsorship of the strips came out of a conversation between Anne Macphail and PST general manager Donald John MacSween in September.

Anne remembers Donald John asking her, during the evening of the Ui Trust’s Colm Cille Lecture, which PST also supports financially, if they needed anything for the school.

As Anne had recently run a unihoc club for about 60 children, and taken them to compete in the Sports Festival — without proper team kit —the strips sprung to mind.

Anne said: “The Parent Council were looking at it but then Point and Sandwick stepped in and were able to help us. They gave us £700 for strips. I have to say, I’m totally blown away.”

The school received two sets, about 16 strips in total, from Sportsworld and were also delighted with the quality. They have tops, shorts and socks — all in red, of course, which fits with the colours of the school and Point and Sandwick Trust. The logos are there, obviously, but so is the school badge as Sportsworld were able to give a good price.

Anne said: “We’re just very thankful because it’s important that the pupils are kitted out. It makes them be proud of their school. The pupils are proud of themselves, they feel part of the team and they feel part of Point. It makes them feel good — and if they feel good, they play better.”

Donald John MacSween said: “Point and Sandwick Trust are delighted to sponsor sports strips for Sgoil an Rubha, following on from our sponsorship of the Point U18 football strips. Sport and team work is an important part of the school experience, and every child should be encouraged to participate in a sport of their choice, regardless of their level of skill.

“Inspirational teachers, such as Anne Macphail, in Sgoil an Rubha follow a fine tradition of giving pupils access to all kinds of team sports, not just football, and the new school, with all of its modern sports facilities, now allows access to a wide range of team sports, not previously available in the old Victorian buildings which were well past their use-by date.

“A well-run school, with a happy pupil cohort, is a credit to any community and PST is happy to support the school in this way and look forward to further joint projects in the future.”