Portland Shinty Weekend Success!

This past weekend saw a lot of shinty in the Portland area, and Northern California Camanachd's Michael Bentley and Elheran Francis were on hand to join in.

On Saturday the Portland Highland Games hosted a field sports venue on which Irish hurling and Australian Rules Football were presented alongside the Scottish sport of shinty. While the surface of the baseball field may not have been ideal for the sports, the athletes played with enthusiasm and skill, most players trying their hand at all three sports! A few audience members joined in or tried hitting the ball as well, and every match had spectators lining the fence.

On Sunday Michael Bentley, a US Camanachd co-founder, led a shinty workshop at Rieke Turf Field in SW Portland. After working to refine the basic skills with the 14 in attendance, most of whom have been playing shinty with Oregon and Willamette clubs, the group broke into two teams for scrimmaging, with breaks for instruction and coaching tips. Play went on until the twilight faded, and it was too dark to see the ball.

"It was great to have so many folks out on a Sunday evening," Bentley said after the workshop. "There was a great deal of enthusiasm, and I was especially gratified to see three players out who were completely new to the sport. Between the efforts of Willamette Shinty, Oregon Shinty, and the Columbia Red Branch Hurling Club, I think the future of camanachd in the Portland area looks very bright indeed!"