Youth -Other Activities - Oban Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Oban
The Rotary Club of Oban
The Rotary Club of Oban
The Rotary Club of Oban
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Andrew Mackichan and Lewis Binnie have successfully completed the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) for 2023. In partnership with North Argyll Young Carers, the Rotary Club of Oban sponsored Andrew and Lewis to attend this year's programme at the Abernethy Barcaple outdoor centre in Dumfries and Galloway.

Photo (L to R): Steph Lowe (RYLA coordinator & Junior Vice-President), Andrew Mackichan, Ciorsti Baxter (President), Lewis Binnie, Dot Dahl (Youth Services Convenor), Claire Fleming (North Argyll Carers)

The week long course involved a range of team building and outdoor activities to challenge and develop the participants. The RYLA award is specifically designed to develop their innate leadership skills and consider how they may be utilised for the benefit of their community. Claire Fleming, of North Argyll Young Carers, said that “Andrew and Lewis have clearly benefited from the experience. Since returning, they haven’t stopped talking about it and their increased confidence and willingness for responsibility is obvious”.

In August, Andrew and Lewis, accompanied by Claire, joined Oban’s Rotarians for their lunchtime meeting to speak of their experience. In addition to thanking Rotary for their support, Andrew and Lewis spoke eloquently about the challenges they faced during the course, including rock climbing and constructing a makeshift shelter that they spent the night in. They recognised how their decision making and communication skills had improved and also highlighted the fun that they had and the friends that they made.

Rotary President, Ciorsti Baxter, congratulated Andrew and Lewis on both their achievement in completing the programme and their presentation skills. Ciorsti said “The ongoing personal development of our young people is a fundamental commitment of Rotary. The benefit of outdoor learning and the wider skills that it develops is an essential component of that development, exemplified by Andrew and Lewis’s achievements. I’m grateful to North Argyll Carers for engaging in the programme and to the wider community for their generosity, through our fundraising activities, that enable us to support young people like Andrew and Lewis.”
Oban Camanachd 2022

The Rotary Club of Oban, which raises funds in support of local good causes, recently gave the Oban Camanachd (Shinty) Club £500 towards its Youth Development Programme which suffered badly during the Covid period. Oban Camanachd are pleased to say that their Youth Section - under 14 and 17’s - are ahead of expectations at this time and the club is hugely grateful to Oban Rotary and, indeed, others for their support at this time.

Our picture shows Oban Camanachd President Patrick Steeman accepting Oban Rotary’s “Cheque” against a background of First Team players warming up prior to Sundays MacAulay Cup Final.

On Thursday 19th December 2019, we held the final of the Young Chef Competition at Oban High School, also attended by the Oban Times photographer.


Six pupils from Oban High took part in the final. They were required to cook two courses (starter & main or main & dessert) and had a maximum budget of £15. They had to plan and cook their menu and consider issues such as nutrition, health and cost. The pupils received guidance from their Home Economics teacher, Hannah Douglas, and John McNulty, Chef Patron of the Etive Restaurant, Oban.

The competition was judged by:
Rotary Club of Oban President Douglas Small, Cllr Yvonne McNeilly (Policy Lead for Education, Argyll & Bute Council), John McNulty (Chef Patron, Etive Restaurant) and David Lapsley (Sommelier Patron, Etive Restaurant).

The winner was Dylan Squire, whose menu of Chicken Caesar Salad and Crepes with Orange Sauce received the unanimous acclaim of the judges. The judges were fulsome in their praise of the effort and quality of food produced by all competitors and announced Findlay McTavish and Angel Buick as joint runners up.

The Rotary Club of Oban is extremely grateful Oban High School for their support for all our Youth Competitions and in particular this one which requires the use of school facilities. We particularly appreciate the fantastic support given by Peter Bain OHS Head, Hannah Douglas and our external judges John McNulty and David Lapsley.

Christmas Dinner will be very interesting in Dylan Squires house this year!

Young Sophie Stewart from Benderloch, aged 10, who trains with Ballet West Outreach, Ballet West High Performance Lower School and Scottish Ballet Junior Associates, has been selected to represent Scotland in Ballet at the Dance World Cup Finals in Portugal which are to be held in Braga, Portugal at the end of June this year.

Oban Rotary, as part of its commitment to Youth Development,  has contributed £300 to Sophie's costs and she is seen here with Rotarians, L -R Billy MacLean, Douglas Small, President Iain Mac Intyre , Etonella Christlieb, Ian MacInnes, Dave Waltho and Phil Monteith accepting her award.
Oban Rotary, in terms of its fund raising is wholly committed to supporting youth activities at a local level and welcomes approaches for support in this regard.
Our Photo shows 18 year old OHS student Adam Hill from North Connel accepting a cheque for £150 from Oban Rotary President, Iain Mac Intyre as a contribution to the costs of a voluntary trip to Kenya in the summer prior to going to university.

Adam, who has been selected by VSO ICS, a renowned charitable organisation helping to support communities in underdeveloped areas in Africa and Asia, will hope to offer support and guidance in these communities towards improving livelihood practices, better sanitation and other issues.

A similar award was made to Roanne Lilley from Taynuilt who is currently studying at Edinburgh University. Roanne is off to Peru in June as a volunteer research assistant in a team who will be studying the effects of climate change on the Amazon Rainforest.

In the background are a number of Iain's Rotary colleagues
Poppy Honeyman, who is a native of Taynuilt and a former pupil of Oban High School, recently completed a 3 month project in Uganda leading a group of 20 volunteers, 10 British and 10 Ugandans with the aim of improving the livelihood of communities surrounding the city of Lira which is situated in the north of the country.

The programme,which operates under the auspices of Voluntary Services Overseas and is government funded, is very much youth orientated in terms of vocational training towards gainful employment along with developing  awareness amongst the young of how they can benefit their communities. Poppy, who has studied International Disaster Management at the University of Manchester and looks forward to continuing her enthusiasm for a career in humanitarian work, is seen here with Oban Rotary President Iain Mac Intyre receiving  a cheque for £300 towards her costs of the programme - each volunteer in has to contribute a percentage of the overall cost.

Poppy, who visits her family in Taynuilt on a regular basis, intends to give Oban Rotary a talk on her experiences when available to do so.

As part of its Youth Development Programme the Rotary Club of Oban provided financial support for the cost of Veronica Speirs from Connel visiting Malawi and Zambia for four weeks as a Rugby coach volunteer under the auspices of the Bhubesi Pride Foundation which supports sports activities in developing countries.

Veronica is seen here with Rotary President Iain Mac Intyre and Rotarian Walter Burton

As part of its Youth Development Programme the Rotary Club of Oban provided financial support for three Oban High School youngsters to visit Perpignan in France as part of the Glasgow Thistle summer Rugby Training Camp. The three boys selected - Angus Neil, Tommy McQuade and Ross McCaskill - are seen here in Glasgow Airport prior to their departure.

The three boys from Oban were part of a group of 35 students selected from schools across the West of Scotland and attended several training sessions in Glasgow prior to their two week stint in Perpignan which involved intensive rugby training and individual assessment supported by professional grade coaches and facilities . The boys were allowed, however, time to visit local  historic sites in Perpignan and Carcassonne and each received a National 5 Qualification in Sports Coaching and Leadership.
Having completed their time at Oban High School Jamie Jordan and Katie Houston are to embark on experiencing enhancing trips abroad.

Jamie will go to Malaysia for 12 months with Project Trust, the well known Coll based charity, to be a teaching assistant.

Katie, under the auspices of Raleigh International, another charity providing support for developing countries, is to spend 10 weeks in Costa Rica working voluntary on several projects which include improving water supplies/sanitation and building projects relating to local schools, libraries and medical centres.

Jamie and Katie have raised the bulk of their funding themselves but both are seen here with Rotary President Iain Mac Intyre receiving cheques for £500 towards their costs.

Jamie and Katie will go on to university on their return home.

Also in the picture is Am-Am Convener, David Mudie
As part of its continuing support for local Youth Activities, Oban Rotary President Tommy McQuade is seen here presenting Kennie Gray, who attends OHS, with a cheque for £500 as a contribution towards his overall costs of £2,000 to cover his attending a three week super rugby course in NewZealand.

Kennie is one of only 12 youngsters selected from the UK to attend this course which is a pathway in New Zealand towards achieving the world famous "All Blacks" national team.

We wish Kennie well although the plan would be that he eventually plays for Scotland rather than the "All Blacks"!

Also in the picture are Kennie's mum and Dad, Kennie Snr and Debbie.
© The Rotary Club of Oban. All rights reserved.
Officers 2023 - 2024
President -
Senior Vice -
Junior Vice -
Ciorstan Baxter
Peter Tosh
Steven Lowe
Secretary -
Treasurer -
Kenneth Moncrieff
Roger Parry
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