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Saturday, April 13, 2024

New Community Pitch in Portree Officially Named ‘The Target Pitch’

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The ‘Spring into sport’ launch of a new multi-purpose pitch on land in Portree, identified and managed by Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association (LSHA), successfully took place on Friday 14th April.

In alignment with the successful launch, a ‘Name the pitch’ competition was announced with a top prize of an Inverness Caley Thistle shirt signed by the whole team as well as open tickets to see the whole team play at Home, donated especially for the event by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) on Friday 30th June.

The winner has officially been selected and announced to be Jaeden Jones, local resident of Portree.

As winner of the ‘Name the pitch’ competition, Jaeden chose ‘The Target Pitch’ as the official name for the site.

Jaeden shared:

“I am so happy that this new space is open for my friends, family, and I to use – and of course that I played a part in naming it ‘The Target Pitch’!”

The creation of The Target Pitch came about in collaboration with the High Life Highland Community Sport Hub programme following feedback from residents within Portree’s Home Farm neighbourhood.

Lowri Richards, LSHA’s Tenant Engagement and Support Manager, said:

“Families in the neighbourhood raised concerns that there weren’t enough conveniently located green spaces for residents to access for sports and other activities.

“In collaboration with High life Highland, our aim was to change that – and I’m happy to share that we successfully did.”

Katie Matthews, High Life Highland’s Community Sports Hub Officer, added:

“The Target Pitch will benefit over 160 households in the area, with a further 250 households planned in the future.

“This new space will provide a valuable local asset for informal and formal community use.”

In celebration of opening this new space, the ‘Spring into sport’ launch event saw LSHA successfully secure external funding and team up with a range of expert partners to deliver fun open sessions on the new fully equipped Target Pitch.

These partners include: the Community Sports Hub, Active Schools, the Scottish Football Association, Portree Walking Football Club, and FC Sonas.

Katie continued:

“The ‘Spring into sport’ launch day was a success!

“There were inclusive, intergenerational activities for abilities to participate in, such as Gaelic football sessions, walking football, scavenger hunts, skipping, and giant outdoor games.

“Participants also enjoyed a range of healthy snacks and got to take home freebies to encourage being active, promote wellbeing, and increase connection with nature, in line with High Life Highland’s ‘Active Highland’ goals.

“Working in partnership with the Lochash and Skye Housing Association has presented a great opportunity for the Community Sport Hub to support the planning and development of the new pitch.

“The opening of The Target Pitch will also connect local residents, volunteers, clubs and activity groups with a new green space which will help benefit the growing community in the Home Farm area.

“With more access improvements and taster sessions planned over the summer, the project is a great example of how collaborative partnerships such as this can remove participation barriers and promote equality and inclusion throughout the Highlands.”

Local resident Emma McGilvary, who attended the event, shared:

“I am absolutely delighted to see The Target Pitch up and running.

“The new pitch is a much-needed community space close to residential areas and has potential for loads of local groups to hold activities.

“The ‘Spring into sport’ launch event held there was a great way to test out how the pitch could be used.

“My two children especially enjoyed playing football there for the first time, making good use of the new goal posts.”

Steve Walsh, High Life Highland’s Chief Executive, concluded:

“High Life Highland is delighted to have worked in partnership with the Lochash and Skye Housing Association to bring The Target Pitch into use for the local community.

“It is always great seeing the local community coming together and enjoying themselves through various activities supported by local clubs and groups.

“Following a successful launch, it’s clear to see that The Target Pitch will be a well-used space by all residents in Portree.”

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