Kirkcaldy to host new Highland Games on the beach

Scottish  Beach Highland  Games - launch of new event in Kirkcaldy August 2015
Scottish Beach Highland Games - launch of new event in Kirkcaldy August 2015
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A brand new Highland Games event is coming to town - and it’s a first for Kirkcaldy.

The inaugural Scottish Beach Highland Games will be staged on the town’s new-look waterfront on Saturday, August 15 - and it will be free.

Scottish  Beach Highland  Games - launch of new event in Kirkcaldy August 2015

Scottish Beach Highland Games - launch of new event in Kirkcaldy August 2015

The only other games staged on sand take place on the other side of the world, in Australia, so the organisers are hoping for a bumper turnout.

The event will be one of the first staged on the waterfront since the completion of the £9m sea wall project and new-look Promenade.

It is backed by Kirkcaldy4All, the town centre BID company, and is the brainchild of two local men.

Andrew Bowie from Kirkcaldy, and Don Campbell, a former Highland Games competitor from Lochgelly, both used the beach as part of their regular training sessions - and realised it was the perfect place to stage an event.

They first trained there three decades ago, and when they met up again more recently, the topic of a Kirkcaldy event came up.

Andrew runs Peachy Keen in Kirk Wynd, and Don is now heavily involved in the administration of games across Scotland, and they saw the revamp of the Esplanade as the perfect opportunity to bring the event to town.

Don said: ‘‘Kirkcaldy is the perfect location for a Beach Highland Games with its long sandy waterfront and natural viewing area from the promenade.

‘‘The only other Highland Games in the world held on a beach are in Australia, so this will be an exciting unique event’

They have the backing of Kirkcaldy4All, which has brought motorbike racing back to the sands, and is keen to see the waterfront used to its full potential.

The beach Games will be the first ever full Highland Games staged on a beach, and will feature dancing, the popular heavy events, running, and pipe bands.

It will also be the newest Highland Games in the world - placed comfortably between two of the most established in Ceres, which has been going for over 700 years, and Burntisland, which celebrates its 363rd anniversary in July.

Bill Harvey, BID manager at Kirkcaldy4All, said: ‘‘We are delighted that we can host this event in Kirkcaldy and make the most of our recently upgraded waterfront.

‘‘Events like the Highland Games are ideal for showcasing Kirkcaldy as a location to visit for entertainment, culture and retail.

‘‘ We would hope that this event becomes a part of our annual events calendar and attracts locals and visitors to enjoy Kirkcaldy’s assets.’

With obvious tide restrictions in mind, the Kirkcaldy Waterfront Beach Highland Games will begin at 10.00 am and finish around 1.00 pm – and the organisers hope the timing will encourage spectators to also visit the town centre, giving a spin-off to local businesses.

The Games will be free to watch and take part in.