Being the voice of the Highland Games
4 September 2020
To be part of any Highland Games is a real joy and I am blessed to have the great fortune of commentating up to a dozen games annually throughout Scotland, succeeding the legendry Robbie Shepherd MBE who was fondly known as the voice of the many games for nearly 40 years. As commentators, we spend the entire day in centre of the area to capture every moment and to enthuse and inform the thousands of spectators who attend such gatherings from all over the world to soak up the unique atmosphere and charm, which is characteristically highland to the core. Yes, the sheer strength of the heavies, the elegance of the dancers, the skirl of the Pipes, the colours of clan tartans, chieftains in feathered bonnets and the beauty of so many picturesque locations undoubtedly gives the ultimate Scottish experience. I so often hear folk say it is the link to time honoured tradition and the fact that highland games remain true to their roots that give them a quality and culture of their own.
Each games day across the land share the same programme of principal events, including Highland Dancing, Tug O War, Light Athletics, Heavy Field Events, Races, Solo Piping and Pipe Bands. Yet the well-seasoned and regular games attenders will be the first to tell you that each day has its own individual highlights and charm which sets them apart from each other. We must also remember that as much as these events are proudly known as Highland Games they are in many ways a ‘gathering’ taking their origins back to historical clan gatherings, which were so common throughout the highlands in days of old. The community spirt which lies at the very heart of these events, where many a sleepy Scottish village simply comes alive on games day, welcoming home friends and family of all ages for the fun but always extending that sense of a fine Scottish welcome to everyone from home and abroad.
The cancellation of our 2020 games has indeed tugged our heart-string in depriving us all of the annual joy of being part of the family of highland games. However, the dedicated spirt and overwhelming resolve to rekindle our games in 2021 is fully to the fore. The virtual games held and filmed at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar sends a clear and positive message to us all that we will back in better times to share with you all the glory, pride and splendour of a day at the Highland Games.