Published 08 July 2019
A Balloch schoolboy flexed his muscle with one of West Dunbartonshire’s strongest men as this year’s Highland Games was officially launched this week.
Young Jack, 5, showed heavyweight Thomas Graham what he was made of for one of the event’s most popular competitions – tossing the caber.
The pair were joined by dancers Kristie Scott, 14, and Ella Potter, 5, both from Lacey Brown School of Dance, who will compete in the Highland dancing competition.
They are among more than 350 competitors showing their skills at Moss O’Balloch for the games on Saturday July 13th with Kristie returning this year and Ella joining her in her first Highland Games.
The event is one of the top competitions in Scotland and has a prize pot of around £12,000 up for grabs with past international competitors from America and Canada.
Spectators can expect a great show with a host of different events including running, cycling, wrestling, jumping, solo piping, pipe bands, highland dancing and the tug of war.
But the highlight will no doubt be the Scottish Highland Games Association World Heavyweight Championship – including caber, hammer, ball and weight – and the highland dancing competition.
Thomas who will be helping at the event this year, said: “I’ve been competing at the Loch Lomond Highland Games for a number of years and it is a very popular event both for competitors and visitors. Over the years I’ve seen an increase in the number of people attending the event both locally and internationally.”
Provost William Hendrie said: “It’s important that we keep traditional Scottish sports alive and one of the best ways we do this is at the Loch Lomond Highland Games. It’s a fantastic day out for the family and we hope the weather will be just as nice as last year’s. I’m really looking forward to this year’s event and I’m sure everyone – be it tourists, spectators or competitors – will have a great time.”
The Secretary of the Loch Lomond Highland Games Committee, Allan Jones, added: “Each year this event attracts tourists, spectators and competitors from all around the world and this year will be no different and we look forward to welcoming everyone.
“Once again we’re looking forward to hosting this year’s games in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council who support us in delivering these popular games.”
Outside the main arena, spectators will find a variety of trade stalls selling a range of modern and traditional goods, food and drink.
This year, the event will also be broadcast to millions who watch Chinese travel programme ‘Zhu’s Life in Britain’ whose presenter, Ms Zhu, will be in attendance.
The event will close with a parade from the event field to Balloch Railway station featuring the pipers, dancers and participating athletes offering a dramatic end to what promises to be a wonderful event.
Visitors should adhere to parking restrictions in and around the venue in Balloch and follow advice from the stewards