Dedicated to the Gaelic Language of the Isle of Man
New award for young people learning Manx

Mon, 25 Apr 2022

Culture Vannin is delighted to announce the launch of the ‘Sophia Morrison Award’, which recognises and celebrates the achievement of young people learning the Manx language.

The annual award has been made possible thanks to the T C M and C N Frost Bequest to Culture Vannin. Passionate about Manx language, the Frosts recognised its importance to the island and its people. They had witnessed the upsurge of interest in the language in recent years, and wanted to acknowledge the key role that young people hold in the future of Manx through the creation of this award.

The award will be made annually to the highest grading under-18 student in Teisht Chadjin Ghaelgagh (GCSE equivalent), in the Manx language. The first award will be made this year and will recognise the success of a student sitting a TCG in 2022, and the winner will be selected by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture’s Manx Language Unit. Prize money of £500 and an engraved medal will be given to the successful student, and a specially created ‘Cair Vie’ trophy, in the shape of a Viking longship, will be presented to the recipient’s school to be displayed for the year.

Before receiving the prize money, the winning student will be asked to produce a short piece of work in Manx, which would be included in a collection of new writings or recordings published periodically by Culture Vannin.

Rob Teare, Head of the Manx Language Unit, Department of Education, Sport and Culture, said:

‘This generous bequest shows just how much Manx means to people, and we’re delighted to be able to hand over the first Sophia Morrison Award this year’.

Sophia Morrison is best known today for her Manx Fairy Tales, but was a cultural activist, folklore collector and writer, who worked for many years as Secretary to Yn Çheshaght Ghailckagh, the Manx Language Society. So much of Sophia’s work focussed on the need to pass on Manx culture and language to young people, so it is very apt that the award is named in her honour.

Caairliagh of Culture Vannin, Chris Thomas MHK, said:

‘The revitalisation of the Manx language, and the vital contribution of our schools in that, has been recognised in and beyond our Island. I feel this award will demonstrate again and again in coming years that the future of our language is safe in the hands of coming generations.’