A prize minibus which was sought after by communities across the north and north-east will soon make its way across the Pentland Firth after being won by an Orkney sports group.
Nearly 140,000 tokens were cut out from the Press and Journal and collected between November and February as various groups launched efforts to secure the 17-seater vehicle worth £40,000.
Today, the P&J is able to reveal that Orkney Gymnastics Club will soon be taking the keys to the minibus.
The outfit collected almost 14,000 tokens to boost their chance of success – enlisting an army of mums, dads, grannies, friends and neighbours.
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A total of 124 community groups took part in this year’s competition, with 50 tokens needed per entry form.
Groups could enter as many times as they liked, meaning the victorious sports club had nearly 280 entries in the draw.
Orkney Gymnastics Club was drawn out as the winner during a special ceremony at the offices of competition sponsors CNOOC International Kingswells yesterday in Aberdeen, and members will soon be handed the keys of the Ford Transit.
Scott McGinigal, vice-president of business services at CNOOC International believes the competition is a fantastic opportunity for communities.
He said: “The minibus is a great way to bring people together.
“For the winners it will open their landscape in terms of where they can go, and the activities they can take part in, and that’s great.”
The competition was first staged in 2015 and the P&J featured several articles highlighting the different groups striving to take possession of the vehicle in recent months.
Editor, Alan McCabe, said: “You can see what it means to the people who are entering from the stories featured in the newspaper, and the number of entries we’ve had to the competition.
“This is our first winners from the Northern Isles so that is fantastic.
“I think it means the world to them – collecting nearly 14,000 tokens it shows how much they wanted it.”
Can you help Orkney Gymnastics Club by keeping your old Press and Journal's? Please share and spread the word…. the more folk on board the better! Thanks ☺️
The small gymnastics club took to social media to help gather in support – and offering to help other local clubs and groups by sharing the minibus if they won it.
In this past year, their gymnasts have participated in six competitions travelling all over Scotland.