Basketball is thriving in the Isles. Introduced to the local schools three years ago, Uist Otters are now going from strength to strength.
Eleven-year-old Amie Ringstead played for the Scottish Under-11 team last year and recently represented her country in an Under-12 tournament in Andorra.
Joan Ringstead, Amie’s Mum, is chair of the club and she is thrilled by its growth. “John Kerray (Highland Region development officer) first came to the schools in Uist and Benbecula three years ago,” she said.
“He has been amazing and we now have sessions on a Saturday. Sandra Skinner, the PE teacher, coaches the team. John recently brought a team (Inverness Lions) over for a weekend.
“We also had a trip to Aberdeen for a tournament.
“There are more girls than boys that take part but it is great to have basketball in the islands.
“The kids here take part in loads of sports – swimming, running, football – and there is also a lot of Highland dancing. It’s unbelievable, there’s always something going on.”
The Scottish Salmon Company sponsors the Uist Otters and Kerray is delighted that it is the first basketball club in the Hebrides. “It’s been great,” he said. “Christine MacQuarrie from Active Schools also helps out and it’s nice to have added another sport to the package.”