A Shetland dance project has been shortlisted to receive one of five funding awards of up to £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund – People’s Millions.
A total of eight projects from across the north of Scotland will be competing for the awards. A promotional film for the Shetland project, entitled Shetland Communities Dance to the Beat, will be screened during the 6pm ITV regional news on Monday 23rd November, along with one other project. The project that receives the most telephone votes on the day will receive the award.
The actual number to be phoned will only be known at 9am on the day, and votes can be cast until midnight. At the end of the week the losing finalist with the most votes will receive the fifth and final award on Friday 27th November.
The success of the project will depend on Shetlanders, and their friends and relatives from outwith the isles, getting behind the project and casting a vote.
The project, which has been put together by SIC active schools co-ordinator Louise Jamieson, aims to provide a fun dance opportunity for everyone in Shetland. The funding will be used to purchase a portable system of 24 electronic dance mats that can be used throughout Shetland.
Ms Jamieson said: “If Shetland wins the public vote, community groups the length and breadth of the islands will have the opportunity to enjoy a fun dance activity in their local area.
“I have an exciting vision of young and old coming together to have a brilliant time, where they will be able to dance to some fantastic tunes from 60s classics to current chart hits.”
The local project has been backed by both NHS Shetland and Shetland Islands Council.
The former’s senior health improvement adviser Elsbeth Clark said: “Being active is an extremely important part of being healthy. We are constantly trying to find new ways to help people stay or become active so this project is very much welcomed. The project also considers the need to ensure access to activities Shetland-wide, which is so important bearing in mind the remoteness of many Shetland communities.”
SIC culture and recreation spokesman Rick Nickerson said: “Improving fitness is hugely important in this age of computers and television. The dance mats are a great way of keeping fit and will especially appeal to those who do not enjoy competitive sports. Therefore I hope that everyone in Shetland will get behind this project.”