|Full name||Strathspey Camanachd Club|
|Gaelic name||Comann Camanachd Shrath Spè|
|Ground||Grantown Grammar School|
|League||North Division Two|
Strathspey Camanachd is a shinty club based in the area around Grantown-on-Spey, Strathspey, Scotland, currently competing in the Marine Harvest North Division 3. The club was formed in 2011 and admitted into senior league shinty in 2012.
Shinty history in Strathspey
In the late 1800s there were 12 shinty clubs across the Badenoch and Strathspey area, which would indicate the large part the sport played in the communities at the time. Grantown-on-Spey formed the first shinty club in Strathspey in 1892. Over the next few years, clubs began appearing all over the district with clubs forming in Nethy Bridge (1893), Boat of Garten (1893), Carrbridge (1893), Dulnain Bridge (1894) and Aviemore (1900).
Player numbers dwindled over the passing years and decades for each of these clubs for a number of reasons, which meant that a number of the clubs often went in and out of abstinence.
Shinty remained much stronger in nearby Badenoch where Kingussie Camanachd Club and Newtonmore Camanachd Club were beginning to gather steam. With a much greater interest in the sport came more players wanting to play and inevitably, came great success. Both of these clubs remain amongst the best in the sport at the moment[when?] as success continues.
Success was less profound in Strathspey area but not totally absent, with Duthil-Carrbridge winning the Strathdearn Cup in 1914 followed by Grantown Camanachd Club, or the Grantown Butchers as they were known, winning the same trophy in 1921, beating Glenurquhart Shinty Club 7–1 in the final.
The popularity of the sport fell in the area accompanied by the increase in popularity of football and the outbreak of war in 1939 meant there were no shinty clubs left in the Strath by the 1940s. Players in the area would have to travel to play for Kincraig Camanachd or Boleskine Camanachd.
In 2011, a group of local enthusiasts established a senior club in the area with the intention of entering the Shinty league. In the same year, the club entered the Camanachd Association-sanctioned Development League North. They played their first match as a club against Ardnamurchan Camanachd on 12 February 2011. Strathspey had a run of friendlies and came first in the Development League but succumbed to a final-game defeat against Kinlochbervie Camanachd Club.
The club applied for and gained entry to Marine Harvest North Division Three for season 2012. This was to mark the first competitive shinty to be played in the area in over 60 years. The club's first ever competitive game was a 3–1 defeat by Strathglass Shinty Club on 3 March 2012. The club then recorded five victories and two draws, including a 6–6 home draw against Lewis Camanachd, in their first season, and finished in 7th place.
The 2013 season saw the club for the first time enter the Sir William Sutherland Cup, where they were defeated by Glengarry Shinty Club. In the league they were just edged out of 6th place on goal difference by Lochbroom Camanachd to again finish in 7th place.
On 19 October 2013, "Strath Cam" partook in its first ever under-17 match against Kingussie Camanachd on The Dell (Kingussie), marking the first time in history an age grade team had represented a club from Strathspey. On 26 October, the club fielded an under-17 team in the WJ Cameron Trophy development trophy against Inverness Shinty Club, Ballachulish Camanachd Club and Ardnamurchan Camanachd, eventually finishing in 3rd place.
2014 saw the club continue to progress, finishing 3rd in the league. The club also entered the Strathdearn Cup for the first time where they reached the semi-final before being beaten 4–3 by Skye Camanachd. The club's progression was reflected when Andrew Hay, a beginner to the sport in 2011, was awarded the Marine Harvest Player of the Year Award for North Division Three. However, due to a small number of teams in this league, a split was proposed by Strathspey, however this had the unfortunate effect for the club being required to travel to Lewis twice on league duty as opposed to once to travel to Stornoway twice as well as once in cup competition. Despite beating Lewis Camanachd 6–0 in Shawbost in the cup, the club were unable to raise a team for both of the league fixtures and had to forfeit both ties, which may have led to them failing to finish above Lewis in the league.
In 2015, Strathspey started the league strongly but suffered a downfall in form and finished bottom of the league. They also conceded a fixture to Skye Camanachd as a walkover.
Strathspey Camanachd Ladies
In March 2014, Strath Cam began the foundations of forming a women's shinty team. With a lot of help from former Badenoch and Strathspey Ladies Shinty Club and Scotland International Jane Nicol, the sport generated a lot of interested with women in the local community.
In late 2011, the club secured a ground, Freuchie Park, in the vicinity of Castle Grant – so named as it stood on the site of the original village which became Grantown, at that time called 'Castleton of Freuchie'.
There was controversy surrounding the club in December 2011 as the Press and Journal erroneously reported that they had been given their ground by Craig Whyte, then chairman of Rangers F.C., who owns Castle Grant. This was untrue, as use of the park was actually granted by a local farmer. The club used this ground for their homes games for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
On 6 January 2014, it was announced that Strathspey would be moving away from Freuchie Park and instead be playing all of their home matches at Grantown Grammar School. The first shinty match played on the pitch was a friendly match against Newtonmore Camanachd Club on 22 February 2014, which the visitors won 6–2.