When you think of the Highland Games, you probably think bagpipes and highland dancing, and you’re not wrong. However, what you might not know is there are a group of men and women in the field throwing rocks and logs as well! This part of the game is called the Heavy Events, and it’s one of those sports that while your watching, you ask, “how on Earth does one get into this?” The “heavies” are a mixture of strongman, track athlete and weightlifter, and while you have to be physically strong, you need to be a little crazy to put on a kilt and throw things. Where do I sign up?
After researching and lame detective work, I found the answer to that very question; show up. While that might work for some people, I’m the type of person that likes to be as prepared as possible for something new. I reached out to the Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation (CSAF) through Facebook and asked the right questions, which led me to an overwhelming amount of support from previous and current heavy athletes and eventually my coach! What I have found out in talking to him is during games, people will come and ask the questions, and once you’re in the world of Highland Games, you see just how much exposure there really is. Especially YouTube. Videos from how to train in the gym, throwing, and footage from games worldwide to see the complete picture. I found out loads of information through hashtags on Instagram like #highlandgames and #heavyathlete, which led me to an athlete’s pages where I could contact them and ask those questions you can’t find on Google; what is it really like? Each time, they have been incredibly helpful with tips and tricks, products that help, what to spend the money on, where to save etc.
While the Highland Games aren’t as mainstream as hockey or football, it’s unique and with that comes a fantastic group of people. I wouldn’t say there is a specific targeted audience in mind for the games; I would say if I had to put a label on it, it would be targeted to anyone who likes great music, kind people, and to anyone who wants to be a part of something that most people ask “what is that?”
Have you ever attended a Highland Games event? If not, would you be interested?