Back to the beach for Kirkcaldy's Highland Games

Kirkcaldy is set to hold its second UK Beach Highland Games - the only event of its kind in the country.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th May 2016, 11:30 am
Jennifer Brown, Andrew Bowie and Suzie Dempsey launch the second Kirkcaldy Beach Highland  Games (Pic by George McLuskie)
Jennifer Brown, Andrew Bowie and Suzie Dempsey launch the second Kirkcaldy Beach Highland Games (Pic by George McLuskie)

2015’s inaugural day proved to be such a success with the local community - over 3000 turned up to watch - that organisers Kirkcaldy 4 All decided to make it an annual free event, and this year are calling on even more members of the public to take part.

Last year’s event included sprints, Highland dancing and heavy events including tossing the caber and shot putt, and it’s in the latter discipline that the organisers want to see locals flex their muscles!

Not only that, there will be kilts for all participants to wear so they can look the part, which are being kindly donated by Kirk Wynd Highland House.

The games were the brainchild of Andrew Bowie from Kirkcaldy, and Don Campbell, a former Highland Games competitor from Lochgelly, who both used the beach as part of their regular training sessions.

Andrew, who runs Peachy Keen in Kirk Wynd said: “It was just a daft idea that myself and Don had which Kirkcaldy 4 All has taken to the next level.

“Don and I used to train on the beach many years ago and we always used to joke that it would be a great place to have a Highland Games.

“Kirkcaldy 4 All picked up on that and here we are!”

Andrew is now urging any novices who want to show the professionals how it’s done, with some of the biggest names in Highland Games coming to the Lang Toun for the day, to get down onto the sand and have a go.

“I really hope we can attract novices along on the day,” he said.

“We’re looking for people who go along to their local gym or who do athletics or rugby or things like that

“There’s a chance of winning some prize money and they’ll be looked after by professionals and officials, so it’s a great chance just to have a bit of fun on the beach.

“The shot putt and the weight over the bar will be lighter so they won’t be using the same equipment as the professionals – it will be done in a way so that we can get the best out of them.

“We’ve also got a kilt for the day, because the professionals will be in their full regalia anyway.

“Now the novices can put a kilt on over their shorts, participate, then pass on to the next person who’s taking part.

“The money that Carr’s has given us and the help from Highland House is really enabling us to make the heavies a quite spectacular element of the whole day.

“I’m sure there’s lots of people out there who last year were maybe watching the games, but this year we’re asking them to take part.”

The games will begin at 10.45am on June 11 with a parade and pipe band from the memorial plaque opposite Volunteers Green, and at 11am the official opening ceremony will take place with the Lord Provost of Fife.

This will be followed by a packed programme which will include fitness sessions held by the Marie Curie Kirkcaldy Fundraising Group which anyone can take part in for the cost of a donation.

Activities will end at around 2.30pm.

Suzie Dempsey, Kirkcaldy 4 All co-ordinator, gave thanks to the events sponsors.

“It wouldn’t have happened without the help of Kirkcaldy and Central Fife Sports Council, while Carrs Hutchison’s Mill have sponsored the professional heavies’ events, and I want to thank Kirk Wynd Highland House for donating the use of the kilt.

“It should be a great day on our beautiful waterfront.”