The Perthshire Highland Games Association (PHGA) recently released the dates for the 13 Highland Games members for the upcoming season.
After seeing a complete cancellation of all the Perthshire Highland Games over the past two years due to the COVID-19 virus, there is now real excitement to see the Highland Games return to the calendar of events – coupled with a genuine belief that this season will actually happen.
Ian Stewart, president of the PHGA, told the AP: ‘We’re not quite out of the woods yet on the virus and there may be some issues to overcome, but things don’t look so dark that they did.
“There is no doubt that we have concerns about possible restrictions, one of them being the possibility that vaccine passports will still be a requirement to enter large-scale gatherings and that in itself would obviously be a challenge for all our members.
“We had hoped that the recent announcement of a lowering of restrictions would be welcome, but reducing the number of participants to 1000 for events requiring 50% vaccine passport checks could prove difficult.
“Until the season actually starts, we don’t know what possible restrictions may still be in place. I can assure everyone however that all organizers of the Perthshire Highland Games will take the utmost care to ensure the safety of all our visitors and competitors whilst attending our events.
This is Ian’s first year as Chairman of the PHGA: “Hopefully we will see the Perthshire Highland Games bounce back in 2022 with real success.
“Having been at Crieff all my life, I have a real enthusiasm for Perthshire and all it has to offer, but the Highland Games are my passion.
“It’s been said that the Highland Games are basically men in kilts, they’re what you see on the side of a box of shortbread and once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. However , my answer to that is “you’ve never been to a Perthshire Highland Games then!”
“Besides all being traditional Highland games with events such as Highland dancing, bagpipes, athletics and the iconic caber toss, there is so much more to see and do.
“Whether it’s watching Military Tattoo acts, listening to artists such as the famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers or taking part in the Haggis World Eating Competition, shouting on the fairground rides or enjoying of the many catering outlets available, we do it best in Perthshire.
“Many Highland Games now also offer hospitality packages where families or companies can enjoy the whole spectacle from the comfort of a marquee.”
Ian enthused further: “There is no doubt that for many towns and villages in Perthshire the Highland Games may be their biggest social event on the calendar and the one that many people use as their annual gathering for friends and family.
“There is a real community spirit around the Perthshire Highland Games, something that can very easily and quickly be lost if these events are allowed to dwindle, but this year, with the help of the people of Perthshire, the many visitors here and from abroad, musicians and competitors, we hope to see a triumphant return of 13 of Scotland’s most beloved Highland Games.
The 2022 season begins on Saturday May 28 with Blackford and ends in September with Pitlochry Games on the 10th.
For more information visit www.perthshirehighlandgames.co.uk