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James F. Campbell’s ‘pie-in-the-sky’ letter of last week is a strange one.
It suggests that a weary and downtrodden local community sees the Kintyre Seasports project as yet another burden to be shared – like the highly successful Campbeltown Marina development, perhaps.
I would not presume to understand Mr Campbell’s motivation, but a few facts are in order.
There are 17 Campbeltown-based community organisations backing the project, with 10 of them signed up as corporate members of the Kintyre Seasports charity.
Since it was formed in May last year the charity has raised almost £80,000, with contributions from MACC and the Rotary Club of Campbeltown, as well as Argyll and Bute Council and HIE.
On August 4 we held a Community Regatta, funded by a Supporting Communities grant by public vote.
Sixty local volunteers from several community groups turned out to organise family activities on Dalintober Beach and get 130 newcomers – 82 locals and 48 visitors – out diving, kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing.
The feedback was universally enthusiastic: ‘More of this, please!’
We are working with local youth organisations and sports governing bodies to combat the challenges faced by young people.
Seasports has already created opportunities for participation and training as instructors to international standards, and is developing a long-term plan to continue improving life chances.
The breadth and depth of our local community’s commitment to the Seasports project is regarded by RYA Scotland and VisitScotland as a model for the future in other areas.
It is hard to believe that there is a section of our community that shares Mr Campbell’s cynicism.
The reality is that there has been an outstanding volunteer effort to get to this point, and we plan to keep going.
There will be many challenges ahead, but lack of community support is not one of them.
Chairman of Kintyre Seasports SCIO.