Tough call made to cancel Markinch Games

Markinch Highland Games has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to continued uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 10:09 am
The popular Markinch Games won't be held again this year due to ongoing restrictions. Stock pic by George McLuskie

The games committee met recently to discuss the on-going restrictions on travel and social gatherings and unanimously agreed that the event, due to take place on June 6 in the John Dixon Park, be cancelled.

Markinch Games secretary, Shane Fenton, said: “Despite the vaccine roll-out, the restrictions on social distancing and gatherings are expected to be in place for a long time yet and will almost certainly be among the last to be relaxed. Games held under such restrictions in public parks wouldn't work, they would be neither viable or manageable.

"There will also be little chance of overseas visitors at events such as Highland Games this year either due to the travel restrictions.

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“The pipe band world has also been badly affected and there are expected to be little or no competitions held this summer.

"This also affects us at Markinch as we annually stage the oldest contest in Scotland and it is always one of the feature event at our games.

“It is regrettable, the health and safety of everyone however is paramount in these still uncertain times.”

Organisers are optimistic the games will return in 2022 on June 5.

Mr Fenton also confirmed that the Scottish Highland Games Association (SHGA) has made the decision to mothball a number of its regular activities.The SHGA stage almost 50 championships during the season at various members' games, they have all been cancelled and will be carried over to be held at the same venues in 2022.Mr Fenton added: “Ceres, Inverkeithing and Markinch games would normally all host SHGA Scottish cycle championships.

"No season long SHGA Leagues will be run in 2021 and no awards will be made. Therefore the annual awards evening, usually held in Glenrothes every October, will not take place.”

The association would normally oversee 17 leagues in total for running, jumping, cycling, heavy events and tug-o-war.