There is one event in the Scottish sporting calendar that attracts thousands of spectators each year - the Braemar Gathering.
There is one event in the Scottish sporting calendar that attracts thousands of spectators each year - the Braemar Gathering. Hundreds of competitors compete for prize money in activities like throwing the hammer or dancing the reel.
SYNOPSIS: The Gathering takes place in the highlands of Scotland, not far from the Royal residence of Balmoral Castle. Queen Elizabeth and other members of the Royal family attended this year's games as patrons. The Gathering forms part of the Highland Games which have a history stretching back to the early nineteenth century. They are believed to have origins in the action of a local ruler who was dissatisfied with the speed of his messenger. He held races and rewarded the winners with a bag of gold. The Games have now added a few other events and become a tradition in Scotland. But not all the competitors are Scottish. Some come thousands of miles to take part, as did this Australian.
All those competitors who participate in the traditional events, like throwing the weight or the hammer, have to wear Kilts. And if the more forceful events don't appeal, then there's always the sack race or the sword dance. There are also prizes for the best bagpipe music. Most events have a tradition going back hundreds of years.
In the hammer throwing there are two categories - the 16 lb. and the 22 lb. (6.8 Killogrammes and 9.5 killogrammes.)
Or for those who prefer something a little more muscular, there's putting the heavy stone which weighs 28 lbs. (12.7 Killogrammes).
And if after all that you still have some strength left, why not try your hand at tossing the caber, weighing a mere 120 lbs? (54 Killogrammes). But most people come to watch rather than take part. And with so many different things going or, it is not surprising that the Gathering's popularity has survived for over a hundred years.