Jul 18 2008 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
AROUND 10,000 people are expected to descend on the Scone Palace parklands over the weekend to savour a two-day competition that will see ex-Olympians and the world’s strongest men battle it out as part of the Highlander Challenge World Championships.
The colourful event, which will be filmed for Channel 4, will see 16 elite athletes from around the globe lock horns to win the coveted accolade of Chieftain’s Champion.
Muscled athletes will be in action from the USA, Poland, Finland, Iceland, Holland, Ukraine, England and, of course, Scotland.
Despite a recent decline in the popularity of Highland Games, this gathering is the brainchild of Douglas Edmunds, former founder and organiser of the World Strongest Man competitions. He’s aiming to reinvigorate the Games and attract more youngsters back into the sport, including his son Gregur.
The Saturday and Sunday event will include spectacular gladiatorial-style challenges and historical battle re-enactments, including the 1396 Battle of the North Inch starring Hal o’ the Wynd.
As the official whisky sponsor, Perth-based The Famous Grouse is providing casks for a new event called “The Whisky Plunder,” which will see competitors racing with four casks.
The brand is also sponsoring the “Tossing the Caber” event, with winners toasting success with a Famous Grouse trophy and a personalised Gallon Bottle.
Katy Stollery, PR manager for The Famous Grouse, said: “Like our whisky, the Highland Games is steeped in history. However it is important to move with the times. So it is great to see this tradition being given new energy and style with athletes from around the world coming together to create a world-class event on our doorstep.”