High­land Games

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

THERE were cel­e­bra­tions in Ari­saig last week as more than 2,000 peo­ple from all over the world gath­ered to watch the 80th High­land games and Clan Ranald gath­er­ing.

De­spite get­ting off to a wet and windy start, the af­ter­noon picked up and ev­ery­one en­joyed some sun­shine at the vil­lage’s Traigh Farm on Wed­nes­day July 27.

The day fea­tured a va­ri­ety of events, from heavy­weight con­tests to chil­dren’s races, pip­ing com­pe­ti­tions and High­land danc­ing, as well as craft, food and cloth­ing stalls for vis­i­tors to en­joy.

Open­ing the games, younger of the Clan Ranald, Ranald Macdon­ald, spoke of the his­tory of both his fam­ily and the games. His fa­ther has been chief of the clan for more than 60 years.

He said: ‘ We are gath­ered on a per­fect piece of land with peo­ple who want to show off their skills. We are in the heart of Clan Ranald coun­try.’

Chair­man of the games Al­lan MacDon­ald said: ‘We are very lucky at the games. We have a pool of about 30 vol­un­teers who are ex­tremely en­thu­si­as­tic. We have been gath­er­ing in this field for about 30 years. It usu­ally takes us about four or five days to set it all up.

‘We have been very for­tu­nate be­cause we get great spon­sor­ship from Ard­na­mur­chan Dis­tillery, which has en­abled us to im­prove and add to the at­mos­phere and at­trac­tion of the games.’

Com­mit­tee trea­surer Fraser MacDougall said: ‘I have been trea­surer for seven years now and I love it. We have a young com­mit­tee who al­ways want to push for­ward.’

Ard­na­mur­chan Dis­tillery chair­man Keith Fal­coner added: ‘ We have put a lot into this ven­ture the past three years be­cause we are the lo­cal dis­tillery and it’s a great way to work with the com­mu­nity, lo­cal peo­ple and en­cour­age tourists to the area.’

High­land dancers kicked off the af­ter­noon, with lo­cal com­peti­tor Aimee Sned­don, 16, from Mal­laig tak­ing home the Keith Ed­die cup.

Fort Wil­liam lo­cal David Hart had a suc­cess­ful day win­ning the Ari­saig Games, Al­lan Macdon­ald and Creag Mhor caber tro­phies.

Round­ing off the day was a ceilidh in Ast­ley vil­lage hall, where lo­cal band Skip­in­nish per­formed.

The com­mit­tee is plan­ning to hold a ceilidh in Septem­ber to cel­e­brate the 80th birth­day of the games.

Paul Macdon­ald, orig­i­nally from Glenuige, led a sword demon­stra­tion as part of the High­land Chal­lenge in which 12 peo­ple from Amer­ica took part. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ sword demo 01

Chair­man of the games, Al­lan MacDon­ald, with pip­ing broth­ers Sandy and Fin­lay Cameron from Spean Bridge. Fin­lay re­ceived the Cameron-Head cup for ju­nior pip­ing. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ chair­man of the games 01

High­land dancer Aimee Sned­don, 16, from Mal­laig, who won all the lo­cal danc­ing com­pe­ti­tions and the Keith Ed­die cup. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ Aimee Sned­don 01

Heavy weight events got un­der way with the shot­put com­pe­ti­tion. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ shot­put 01

Chair­man of Ard­na­mur­chan dis­tillery Keith Fal­coner, sec­ond left, with his team. The dis­tillery spon­sored the games. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ dis­tillery spon­sors 01

The 11 and un­der sword dance was pop­u­lar with on­look­ers at the games. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ high­land danc­ing 03

Dancers per­form the high­land fling in the ju­nior cat­e­gory for up to 16-years. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ high­land danc­ing 02

David Hart, from Fort Wil­liam, who won the Ari­saig Games, Al­lan Macdon­ald and Creag Mhor Caber tro­phies. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ shot­put 02

Aimee Sned­don, 16, and Lindsey Jones, 35, com­pete in the adult High­land danc­ing com­pe­ti­tions. Lindsey won the Robert Cuth­bert­son shield for the cat­e­gory. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ high­land danc­ing 01

Games an­nouncer Wil­liam MacLen­nan who did a fan­tas­tic job pre­sent­ing the games. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ an­nouncer 01

Younger of Clan Ranald, Ranald Macdon­ald, whose fa­ther is the 24th chief of the clan and has been for 60 years. Ranald opened the 80th Ari­saig games. 21_ F32 Ari­saig Games_ Ranald Macdon­ald 01

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