DOUGLASS SISK PHOTOGRAPHY
The Heavy Athletic Events at the Big Trees Scottish Gathering ad Highland Games will be Hosted by the SHA (Scottish Heavy Athletics).
The Highland games are festivals held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage. In their original form many centuries ago, Highland games revolved around athletic and sports competitions. Through these competitions the king would select the finest athletes to be his personal guard and entourage. The games were also a way for the clans to demonstrate their relative strength to each other without actually having to go to war. Some of the implements used in the games were created as alternatives to traditional weapons when England forbade any Scotsman from bearing arms. Though other activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about—in short, that the athletics are the Games, and all the other activities are just entertainment. Regardless, it remains true today that the athletic competitions are at least an integral part of the events and one—the caber toss—has come to almost symbolize the Highland games. Although quite a range of events can be a part of the Highland athletics competition, a few have become standard.