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Portree High School pupil Angelo Arwen, 15, who won a competition to design a medal for the SSC Isle of Skye half marathon. The medal is made of wood and is big enough to be repurposed as a coaster. Photo: SSC.
Portree High School pupil Angelo Arwen, 15, who won a competition to design a medal for the SSC Isle of Skye half marathon. The medal is made of wood and is big enough to be repurposed as a coaster. Photo: SSC.

Runners who complete a Scottish Salmon Company-sponsored half-marathon on Skye this coming Saturday will take home a medal with a difference.

The more sustainable medal, designed by 15-year-old Portree High School pupil Angelo Arwen, is made of wood rather than metal and is big enough to be repurposed as a coaster.

Pupils from Portree High School’s S5 graphic communication class were tasked with designing medals for this year’s race. The design brief was to include the Scottish Salmon Company’s stated core values of pride, passion, provenance, along with reference to the Isle of Skye.

Some of the 900 medals made in the woodwork class. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: SSC.
Some of the 900 medals made in the woodwork class. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: SSC.

Woodwork class

Arwen’s design of a runner in front of Skye’s two Cuillin mountain ranges which dominate the island’s landscape was judged to be the most eye-catching.   

Once the winning design was picked, the school’s S4 practical woodwork class then took charge of the fabrication and assembly of the medals, using a laser cutter to create 900 in total.

SSC communications and business development director Su Cox said: “It was a tough decision to choose a winner as the level of creativity and standard of work was so high.

“We are proud to sponsor the race for the fifth year running. With thanks to the committee and all the volunteers, it is set to be a memorable post-lockdown event for the local community.”

A valuable experience

Portree High School head teacher Tony Breen said the medal competition had been a valuable experience for pupils to develop their skills in a real-life context.

“The production of the medals showed pupils how the design, prototyping and mass manufacture of a product can happen within a small timeframe,” said Breen.

The competition was organised by SSC in partnership with Skye Events, which said a wooden medal was easier to recycle than a metal one.

“We are grateful to Craig Stewart at Portree High School who worked with us when we decided to change our medals,” said Skye Events project manager Sam Crowe. “Special thanks to the children who created fantastic designs and worked hard to produce 900 medals for us, quite a feat.”