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Ross-shire Engineering project manager set to take to the floor with Contin dance partner in Strictly Inverness 2023

By Caroline McMorran

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His only claim to fame on the dancing front is that he once won an individual dance in a school competition with his primary school partner.

But now Golspie native Andrew Sutherland is set to take to the dance floor in front of hundreds of people and a panel of judges.

Andrew Sutherland and Lindsey Crombie. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Andrew Sutherland and Lindsey Crombie. Picture: Callum Mackay.

“I didn’t think I’d ever be saying this, but somehow I’ve signed up and been accepted for Strictly Inverness 2023,” said the 36-year-old.

However, if dancing doesn’t run in his family, fundraising for Highland Hospice, which runs the event along with Inverness Ice Centre, certainly does.

Andrew, a project manager at Ross-shire Engineering, is the son of well-known Golspie resident and veteran fundraiser Marion Sutherland who has raised thousands for the hospice over years.

SEE ALSO: Plenty of Ross-shire interest in Strictly line-up

She said: “My first ever hospice fundraiser was guess the date and time of the baby – the baby being Andrew!”

It was Marion, his sister Laura and fiancée Justine who encouraged him to try out for Strictly Inverness, telling him he could do it.

An ex Golspie primary and high school pupil, Andrew has a BSc in mechanical engineering and management from Heriot Watt University and worked worldwide for two years with Bridgestone Motorsport, attending all F1/GP2 tests and races.

He is one of 32 dancers in the hugely popular competition and his partner is Lindsey Crombie of Contin.

Over the past few months they have been practising hard three times a week to learn two individual and one group dance.

The couples will perform at the ice centre across two nights – Thursday and Friday, May 11-12 – before the top four couples from each night will dance again in a grand finale on Saturday, May 13, which features celebrity judges Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara.

Andrew and Lindsey perform on Friday night and his fiancée, family, friends and colleagues will be there to cheer them on.

As well as training hard, Andrew has had to fundraise and secure a corporate sponsor - he persuaded his employers Ross-shire Engineering to come on board.

The family have held a coffee morning in Golspie and a quiz night as well as online raffles which hare raised more than £1700.

“People have been great,” said Marion.

And an amazing £7037 has been raised through a JustGiving page. To donate visit justgiving.com and search using Andrew’s name.

Highland Hospice said they had been particularly delighted to sign up Andrew for Strictly 2023 given the family background of “incredible support towards the hospice.”

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