High hopes for Highland gatherings as Games season gets under way

Organisers of the Strathmore Highland Games are hoping for another bumper turnout following the success of last year's event.

Strathmore Games at Glamis Castle in Angus aims high as Highland gathering season gets into full swing Getty Images

The organisers of Strathmore Highland Games in Angus are banking on another record-breaking event this summer after a successful return from the coronavirus pandemic.

The long-standing event was rewarded with its biggest ever crowd in the grounds of Glamis Castle last June following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

And this year’s games on Sunday, June 11 is set to attract another bumper attendance.

Games official Lorna Cochrane said: “2022 was such an unknown after the pandemic.

“We were coming back from two years away because of Covid. There had been so much impact on the calendar and some games sadly didn’t return at all.

“And the games are all about visitors – if they don’t come then that’s it. So we were all a bit fearful of how things might turn out, but we couldn’t have been more delighted.

“Speaking to people on the day, there were so many who had never been to a Highland Games before. It’s when folk see it and feel the atmosphere that they really get what a games is all about.”

A crowd of around 2,500 spectators soaked up the spectacle in 2022.

Many were back in Scotland from important tourist markets including the USA, Australia and across Europe.

The Strathmore event also aims to drive the sport’s grass roots by bringing together hundreds of local primary school children for a mini Highland Games.

Games chairman Alan Wood said: “The games are to encourage young schoolchildren to experience taking part in the activities of Highland Games.

“There will be tug of war, shot put, tossing the caber and the ambiance of the piper playing them on at the start of the games.”

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