Help save our Highland Games!

Newburgh Games
Newburgh Games

A tradition stretching back more than a century could come to an end in just over a fortnight’s time if no-one comes forward to help save it.

Newburgh Games Committee has issued a desperate plea for people to get involved in the Highland Games before it makes a crunch decision on the event’s future at its AGM on February 19.

If no-one comes forward, the games will fold permanently.

Secretary Evelyn Ferrans told the Fife Herald this week that people are needed both as committee members and helpers during the event itself, whch is traditionally held in June.

“The biggest challenge we face is finding able-bodied people to help set up the games during the preceding week and take everything down afterwards,” she said.

“There is quite a bit of physical work involved in erecting gazebos, constructing the dance stage, cutting the grass, marking out the field, and so on.

“If we had a good number of volunteers, it shouldn’t take long.”

The existing committee, which has been running the games for years, is also looking for new members willing to commit to around seven meetings a year .

“The bottom line is that if there is no interest, there will be no games,” said Evelyn.

“If there are no firm offers of help before or at the AGM on February 19, the decision to cancel the event permanently will have to be made.

“So we would ask anyone who’s interested in keeping the games going, and is prepared to offer their time on a long-term basis, either to serve on the committee and/or to help with the heavy work the week before and the day after, to please come forward.”

The event comprises all the elements of a traditional Highland games, including track and heavy events, cycling and dancing.

In recent years, it’s fallen victim to bad weather and has had to be cancelled three times.

However, the Newburgh coble boat race, which is held on the same day, has gone ahead – and Evelyn gave an assurance it would continue.

“It’s organised by the same committee but doesn’t take so much preparation and a lot of younger people are involved,” she said.

The AGM will be held at 7.30pm in Tayside Institute Community Centre, and anyone interested in helping to save the games is asked to contact Evelyn on 07709 939161.