Cel­e­brat­ing Scots her­itage

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL INESON

Like the kilts of Wil­liam Wal­lace’s men, at­ten­dance at the Horo­rata High­land Games con­tin­ues to lift thanks to com­mu­nity sup­port.

The pipes played, knights bat­tled and cabers were tossed as a cel­e­bra­tion of all things Scot hit Can­ter­bury on Sat­ur­day. More than 10,000 peo­ple made the trip to the Horo­rata Com­mu­nity Trust’s an­nual event.

Event man­ager Cindy Driscoll said about 200 of the town’s 500-odd res­i­dents vol­un­teered.

‘‘There is so much pas­sion and so much pride that comes from our com­mu­nity, and that’s why it’s so spe­cial.’’

Driscoll said the com­mu­nity needed some­thing af­ter the Septem­ber 2010 earth­quake dam­aged many of the district’s build­ings, and the Fe­bru­ary 2011 quake shifted the fo­cus to the city.

‘‘Not just re­build build­ings, but to re­build our com­mu­nity spirit and get our district mov­ing again.’’

The games were the re­sult. Ticket sales were up and com­pe­ti­tions were at ca­pac­ity with in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors trav­el­ling for strong­man com­pe­ti­tions, she said.

‘‘We are now New Zealand’s big­gest one-day high­land danc­ing com­pe­ti­tion, which is mas­sive.’’

Ash­bur­ton cou­ple Luke and Lisa Sut­ton took their chil­dren, Lach­lan, 7, and twins Rafe and Stephanie, 5 along. Luke said he the fam­ily made the most of the me­dieval sec­tion, where wood turner Scott Camp­bell made a chil­dren’s toy from an an­tique 17th cen­tury lathe and an­other man made chain mail.

‘‘I’ve quite a strong Scot­tish her­itage ... this gives the kids the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence it and for us to get a lit­tle bit more in­volved.’’

In the high­land games them­selves, the am­a­teur women and mens cham­pi­ons were Julie Stech­mon and David Jack­aways re­spec­tively. In the Heavy­weight Cham­pi­onship, first placed Jono MacFar­lane broke a Horo­rata field record by toss­ing the 56lb weight more than 15.5 feet up, clear­ing the bar in the Weight for Height throw. In the Tug o’ War, mar­ket gar­den­ers Grown took first place in the mixed while Boss­man took out the mens di­vi­sion. Lucy Moore took home the Cham­pion High­land Dancer ti­tle while the Can­ter­bury Cale­do­nian So­ci­ety’s pipe band was crowned Band of the Day. Nigel Far­rell shot his way to top place in the Small Bore Cham­pi­onship.

SUP­PLIED/MUR­RAY IR­WIN

Bare-kneed com­peti­tors run for gloy down the kilted mile at the Horo­rata High­land Games.

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