Strathspey has always been a recognised sporting venue. Edward I on his last visit to Scotland in 1306, whilst staying at Garten Rothe, (Boat of Garten’s Castle on the banks of the Spey) was hunting in the Garten Hills.
For some, though, hunting and fishing was a punishable offence. As a sport it became popular in the 19th century and played an important role in the development of tourism.
There have, too, always been sporting heroes. According to legend, Alastair Grant Mor, the Laird’s Champion (as painted by Waitt and whose portrait hung in Castle Grant) undertook to race against the legendary Thames watermen and was victorious.
Grantown’s oldest sporting club, the Strathspey Curling Club, won the Carsbreck trophy in 1929. There have been national sporting champions in many sports.
Today we recognise international footballers and golfers, cycling Olympic and Commonwealth medalists, an international tennis umpire and a great many enthusiastic sportsmen and women.
New clubs and venues
There are newly established football and shinty clubs and sporting venues many places would be proud to own.
A Grantown cycling Club was formed in 1891 and there was even a “Glass Ball Club”. (Apparently this was a forerunner to clay Pigeon shooting.
The glass balls were filled with feathers which burst out when the ball was hit in the air. ) Both the Angling Association and the Golf Club are also celebrating significant anniversaries.