An Inspired idea
Kingussie dental practice Inspire Dental has stepped in to safeguard the health of shinty’s ‘Old Firm’ by offering players a pre-cup final ‘insurance policy’ for their teeth.
The Highland practice has offered to make custom gumshields for the players of local teams Newtonmore and Kingussie, who have both reached cup finals in recent weeks.
On 23 August, Newtonmore beat Kyles Athletic 2-1 in the final of the Artemis Macaulay Cup, while Kingussie face off against Glenurquhart in the televised Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup Final on 13 September.
The players of both teams have been fitted with custom gumshields by Inspire, with principal dentist Bert Hay saying this was a perfect way to put something back into the community clubs ahead of their big matches.
He said: “From a dentist’s perspective, Shinty throws up some of the most interesting dental injuries you’re likely to see. I’ve seen a number of players and past players over the years and that is why we thought this would be a good idea.
“Although a lot of the young ones wear them, it is not so prevalent amongst the senior players. Perhaps there is a bit of bravado there but, more probably, when they take the field, tactics are more important than their teeth.
“By doing this, we hope both Newtonmore and Kingussie come back with the trophies and the best smiles in shinty.”
At a cost of £75 per gumshield, the practice’s backing has been worth more than £2,000 to the Badenoch clubs.
Newtonmore player Jamie Robinson said: “It’s great what Inspire Dental have done and it’s appreciated. I remember our defender Norman Campbell sustained a bad jaw injury a few years ago so this step is common sense and I think a lot more players will look at it now.”
Kingussie player Darren Hanlon agrees: “Wearing head protection is now compulsory for U-17s in the sport. It seems sensible to have teeth protection as well.”