Lewis Camanachd Club fear ferry bills could be knockout blow

Lewis Camanachd assistant manager Andrew MacAskill admits it might not be financially viable for the club to play league shinty next season if covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 10:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 11:38 am
A picture of the Lewis Camanachd squad from 2019

Under normal circumstances, the first team would be lining up in Marine Harvest North Division Two from March 2021, but coronavirus could put a spanner in the works.

“For us to travel, we always use a minibus,” Andrew told the Stornoway Gazette.

“Is minibus travel going to be allowed in March?

“If not, we would be stuffed because we couldn’t put 12 cars on a ferry at £150 a car. The club would just go bankrupt.

“We don’t know what will happen. We hope we will be playing, but the way the world is right now, trying to predict it in advance, let alone months in advance, is foolhardy.

“The league body are fully aware of our issues with travel and stuff. It’s something they know we have to do because we come to the mainland 10 times a year.

“The authorities must do what is safest for people. It’s all about health at the end of the day and we accept whatever the decision is.”

After several months off due to the pandemic, Lewis Camanachd’s 1st and 2nd teams recently battled out a draw in the club’s Craig Morrison Shield fixture, but it remains unclear when they’ll play competitively again.

“This year has been a nightmare,” Andrew said.

“It’s such a shame because everybody loves being at the club as it’s great to be in that team spirit and team community.

“When you don’t have that and you don’t have your games, it becomes a lot more difficult to keep people motivated.

“The worry is that goodness knows where this ends and if next season is written off, then how hard will it be to keep people invested?

“If everything goes to plan, then we would look at potentially having a pre-season game in February and the season would start as it almost always does, on the first Saturday in March.

“That’s what we would be hoping for under normal circumstances, but at this stage, who knows?

“The club will be fine in terms of survival, but it’s player pools we are worried about if this crisis goes into a second year without competitive shinty. Some people might drift away.

“That would be more of a worry, that we can try and keep that nucleus together.

“We would continue to do whatever we could on a local level, but because we would be the only team on the island, it becomes a bit more difficult.”