The National Secondary Schools’ Gaelic Debate Committee is delighted to announce that Loganair, Scotland’s Airline, will sponsor this year’s competition.
The airline will transport around 100 pupils from across Scotland’s Highlands and Islands to the 21st Competition, held in Edinburgh.
The unique platform gives participants a unique opportunity to develop and showcase their language and debating skills amongst their peers, Gaelic development agencies and members of the Scottish Parliament.
Commenting on the announcement, Loganair Commercial Director Kay Ryan said: “As Scotland’s Airline, we are delighted to sponsor this excellent initiative. Gaelic is a crucial element of Scottish heritage, and we are proud to show our support to events which give young people to develop their language skills.”
Calum Iain Macleod, Chairman of the National Secondary Schools’ Gaelic Debate Management Committee, said: “This is fantastic news. We are very grateful to Loganair for their financial support for this year’s competition, which, once again, demonstrates their commitment to the Highlands and Islands and to the Gaelic language and culture.
“We are also grateful for the continuing support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Education Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Highland Council and Glasgow City Council without whose support, the competition could not continue.
“Like Loganair, the Schools’ Gaelic Debating competition enables Gaelic-speaking communities to come together, bringing Gaelic-speaking students from schools across Scotland together for 3 days, in Stornoway, plying their wits against each other in a series of debates in an attempt to reach the finals of the debating competition, which are held in The Scottish Parliament, and broadcast live on Radio nan Gàidheal.
Hannah and Sandy, winners of 2018, and Evelyn Coull Macleod representing the Debate Managing Committee, and a member of Loganair cabin crew.
“The competition gives young Gaelic-speakers from across the country, fluent and learners alike, the unique opportunity to hone their linguistic skills and provides them with a platform to showcase their research, presentational and public speaking abilities.
“With 2019 being the Year of Indigenous Languages, our continuing aim as an organising committee is to promote engagement and cooperation between the participating schools, encourage the promotion and use of Gaelic and to see more young people utilising the opportunities that the language opens up.
“Following the success of the 2018 Debate which saw Hannah Macleod and Sandy Morrison from The Nicolson Institute emerge as the worthy winners, a high level of competition was set and we look forward to another year of interesting and thought-provoking debates.”
Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rt. Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, said: “Gaelic matters. It is important that people see it, hear it and use it within the Scottish Parliament.
“That’s why we are proud to host the final of the National Secondary Schools’ Gaelic Debate once again and look forward to welcoming some of the best young Gaelic debating talent in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament in November.”
The National Secondary Schools’ Gaelic Debate is organised by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Comunn na Gàidhlig and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and funded by Loganair, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Highland Council and Glasgow City Council.