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Youngsters feel the pull of the Highland games

Youngsters feel the pull of the Highland games

HERITAGE: Hopes for future as more schools to take part in Glamis mini-event

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
17 May 2016
GrahaM brown

Picture: Andy Thompson.Annie Kirton, Robert Mather, Frankie Hood, Alex Cochrane and Louisa Mather practise the tug o’ war in front of Glamis Castle ahead of the second Strathmore mini-Highland Games

.Highland games chiefs are growing a new crop of wee heavies from the grassroots of Scottish primary schools.The 2016 season got under way in earnest with a record-breaking weekend crowd at the opening event on the official Scottish Highland Games Association calendar at Fochabers, and Courier Country has begun its countdown to the first local games at Blackford in less than a fortnight.

The traditional spectacle will then come thick and fast for competitors and locals in what officials hope will be a bumper international summer audience.Strathmore Highland Games organisers are preparing for their event on Sunday June 12, but ahead of that will be building on an inaugural 2015 miniHighland games for local primary school children when some 300 youngsters will grace the Glamis Castle arena.

The games committee were blown away by the success of last year’s event and, as well as inviting more schools to take part next month, have also started to create games kits for primaries.Complete with tug o’ war rope, junior caber and small-scale hammers and weights, it is hoped the kits might eventually become part of sports gear for all schools.

Lorna Cochrane of Strathmore Games said: “Last year was such a success, the youngsters still talk about it so we’ve added a few extra events, invited more schools to join in and hopefully it will really keep things going.”

Strathmore Games chairman Charlie Murray is also the Scottish Highland Games Association president and has high hopes of bringing a new generation to the Highland games field.“When you look back over the sport it’s often been a case of generations following each other into the games,” he said.“The primaries are the grassroots and the active schools coordinators are doing a great job in helping build the Strathmore junior games, but the long-term ambition is to reach out and we would love to see every school having their own mini-Highland games.“The foresters at Strathmore estates have been making proper mini-cabers and I’ve managed to get traditional Scottish hammers and throwing weights from 1kg to 6kg, which will cover ages up to 16.

Published: 2016-05-17 17:01:57