Camanachd Cup final: Shinty 'reasonably healthy' ahead of showpiece final

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A look at the history and spirit of Scotland's famous shinty showpiece
2018 Camanachd Cup final: Newtonmore v Lovat
Venue: Mossfield Stadium, Oban Date: Saturday 15 September Throw-up: 14:00 BST
Coverage: BBC Two Scotland, 13:45

Shinty's biggest strength is the community surrounding the sport, according to its governing body.

In the Camanachd Association's 125th year, its chief executive officer also believes tradition keeps it alive.

"Shinty is one of Scotland's most indigenous sports and certainly one of our most iconic," Derek Kier said.

"One thing that's true about every shinty club - it's got an abundance of history, connected to its roots and where it's come from.

"The whole community seems to have bought into supporting, volunteering and participating with the local club.

"And that's been sustained through the years."

While the association admits this too presents challenges as it seeks to expand around the country, Keir believes the sport is 'reasonably healthy'.

"Our total membership is 3,300 and it's grown over the last three years," he explained in the build up to Saturday's Camanachd Cup final between Newtonmore and Lovat.

"At almost every level, there's a depth of competition - both in the male and female game - competing for honours. And primary school participation is very healthy.

"But it's still a sport that's predominantly based in the Highlands and Islands, Argyll and Bute and some pockets around Scotland beyond that.

"That's the current challenge for us - to keep growing the sport and expanding to other parts of Scotland while still supporting the clubs that work so hard to maintain their tradition, history and success in their communities."