CalMac helps strengthen Hebrides women's football
Lewis and Harris Women's Football Association (LHWFA) is now working with more than 40 girls in the islands thanks to an award through CalMac's Community Fund.
The association was one of the first beneficiaries of the fund designed to support young people throughout the company's area of operations.
Their award was made to support the LHWFA grow participation in football among girls in the Western Isles, helping them compete with better resourced teams on the mainland.
Logistics and depopulation are the biggest barriers to female football thriving in the Western Isles with a number of young people leaving the islands for further education. This has proved difficult to sustain their competitive presence in the Highlands and Islands league.
But the Community Fund award is helping them change this. LHWFA's youth section has grown and is regularly working a group of more than 40 girls; they've also held a Western Isles Girls Football Festival for the first time engaging 50 plus girls from Barra, the Uists, Harris and Lewis.
Picture shows: More than 50 girls girls on Lewis and Harris enjoyed the inaugural Girls Football Festival.
CalMac's support has helped the association's team win the inaugural Highlands & Islands League Cup in front of 400 people said the LHWFA's Euan Macleod.
'I am so proud of the achievements and levels of commitment shown by our players. They constantly surprise me with their ambition and determination to continually strive to be the best player and person they can,' he said.
'I will continue to ensure we develop a positive platform for female footballers in the Western Isles and we are grateful to CalMac for their support. It will enable our players to play and compete in the sport they love, at as high a level as they are capable of, well into the future.
'By helping us increase participation at the secondary four to six age group we should be able build a sustainable level of women's football on the island for the future.'
This year's Community Fund is open until December 13. Youth groups are able to tap into grants of up to £2000 to help support this activity. More information at www.calmac.co.uk/community-fund.