THE Camanachd Association has announced Tulloch Homes as the principal sponsor for the Camanachd Cup from 2017 to 2020.
Tulloch has a proud 90 year history of business activity in Scotland, historically in the construction and building services sector but now focused on building quality homes. Tulloch Homes is a company that is firmly embedded within the shinty heartlands.
Jim Barr, President of the Camanachd Association, said: “The Camanachd Association looks forward to an exciting new chapter of the Camanachd Cup’s 121 year history and is appreciative of the support for the further development of grass roots Shinty which will result from this partnership.
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"The “Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup” will continue to be the premier cup competition for senior teams throughout Scotland and a winners medal will remain the single most coveted honour for the players involved."
Tulloch Homes chief executive George Fraser said: “Shinty is part of the DNA of our business.
“Accordingly, our investors were more than happy that we should undertake this journey with the Camanachd Association and we look forward to a successful partnership.
“It is not our first involvement in the game, for we sponsored the Celtic Society Cup and the MacTavish Cup in 2004 and 2005. More recently we’ve been involved in donating shinty sticks to some primary schools.”
He added: “It caps our excellent 90th anniversary celebrations, during which we donated £25,000 each to the Highland Hospice, Archie Highland Appeal for the new Children’s Ward at Raigmore Hospital, and to the Woodlands Day Care Centre, Inverness, run by Alzheimer’s Scotland.
“It is all about putting something back for the benefit of the communities which have supported Tulloch Homes so well over the years.”
Fraser, a prolific goalscorer in his playing days with Newtonmore, was the winning captain in the 1975 Camanachd Cup final in which Newtonmore defeated Kyles Athletic 1-0 at Fort William following a 3-3 draw at Kingussie. That season he also skippered the team to victory in the finals of the Macaulay and MacTavish cups.
He went on to gain three successive Camanachd Cup winners medals in 1977, 1978 and 1979 followed by two in succession in 1981 and 1982 and again in 1985, when his club won the Grand Slam, and 1986 – thus playing in eight Camanachd Cup winning teams.
George also represented Scotland in shinty-hurling internationals against Ireland.
His last Camanachd final was in 1989, when Newtonmore were runners up, after which he retired to focus on his business career. He accepted an invitation to serve a period as a director of the Camanachd Association several years ago.
He commented: “I was part of an extremely successful shinty team – and my experience is that teamwork in sport and business are clearly interlinked. The team ethic you learn in your sport is readily transferable to your world of employment.
“That has been at the forefront of my approach in running a business and I endeavour to impress that on our own Tulloch Homes team.
“I hope that our involvement in the Camanachd Cup final can add to the profile of the big game and we’re ready to work closely with the Association in this regard.
“I have great regard for all personnel involved in the Camanachd Association. It is never an easy task running the governing body in any sport and shinty is a true amateur sport where everyone’s involvement is for the love of the game.”
Tulloch Homes recently handed over their controlling interest in three stands at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium to Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, making, in effect, a £6 million donation. Mr Fraser is a former chairman of the club.
He was a leader in the management buyout in March, 2015, which bought out US investment giant Goldman Sachs and private equity group TPG from their 40 per cent share of Tulloch Homes. This restored the business to Highland and Scottish management.
The sponsorship launch took place at the sales suite at The Parks, one of Tulloch Homes’ successful Inverness developments. They are also currently active at North Kessock, Muir of Ord, Conon Bridge and Fortrose.
Tulloch Homes has won more National House Builders Council Awards than any other housebuilder in the Highlands and Islands and has just announced a planning application for a £250 million project to build 800 homes over 10 years at Ness Side, Inverness.