Speaking on the news of the Highland Council’s historic approval last night of the Community Asset Transfer of the sports fields at the Inverness Royal Academy, club CEO Scot Gardiner said,
“I could not be happier for the ICT Community Trust, particularly Craig Masterton and his staff and his Board of Directors, for Karen Mason who heads the ICTFC Women’s section and for all of the people in our community who are going to enjoy and benefit from this exciting step in the history of the club and our Community Trust.
So much hard work has gone into the last couple of years to get to this point and the support and encouragement we have had from in and around the city has been inspiring and the announcement from Highland Council Leader Raymond Bremner and the positive comments from Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair Ken Gowans were extremely encouraging looking towards the possibilities of working together for the health of the community.
From MP Drew Hendry, multiple MSP’s and Highland Councillors across all parties, the senior officers of Highland Council, Sport Scotland, the Football Facilities Dept at the SFA, Vivienne MacLaren at the SWF, Slackbuie and Lochardil and Drummond Community Councils, the PTA of the Inverness Royal Academy and Nigel Engstrand, Rector of the Royal Academy itself and our own Sporting Director John Robertson, who’s initial idea and drive ultimately saw us through to last night’s decision, the support we have had has been inspirational and unanimous.
Special mention should also go to Pablo Mascheranas of Highland Council and we hope to see him again soon.
The positive impact this decision will have across our community, for our Trust, our own Academy, the pupils of the Royal Academy and in particular, for our girls and women’s game cannot be over emphasised.
This is going to be a major pillar of the football club’s community centric approach going forward and I am very thankful to have a Chairman and Board of Directors at the club who share this vision. I watched the decision of Highland Council live here at the Stadium last night and if that was tense and emotional, it was nothing compared to driving round to the Royal Academy immediately afterwards to tell Karen Mason that ICTWFC now had a home of their own and then telling some of our Academy and Trust coaches the fantastic news on the next pitch. We will have a special interview with Karen online next week as she looks to describe what the historic decision means to her. I now look forward to working with Highland Council and setting about achieving this win/win project with all of the stakeholders.”
The General Manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle Community Trust, Craig Masterton said:
“We are delighted to take this significant step on the exciting journey towards establishing what will become the Trust’s new home. To have the chance to develop a base in our community will allow us to bring people together and enhance the positive impact we currently deliver, providing more opportunities for participation and progression in our activities for the local community and beyond. To also have a home for women and girls football in the heart of the city is such a huge step forward for the game in the Highlands. Our weekly Trust work has seen the growth of girls football before our very eyes and this can now only grow even more.
The ICT Community Trust Hub will allow us to work collaboratively to engage a broad spectrum of our community with girls and boys from 3 years old, right up to retirement age and beyond, covering many different activities from literacy development, to health and fitness classes, to football memories, using football as the catalyst to drive engagement.
The stability brought by having the ICT Community Trust Hub will help develop new activities like our inclusive Para football sessions where we hope to drive participation with the ultimate goal of representing the region at national events removing any potential barriers.”