Games competitors put through their paces

by Kent Caddick

Future highland games competitors mixed it with some of the rock stars of the sport at a training day for this year’s Hororata Highland Games over the weekend.

A Highland Games Heavy Events training day was held at the Hororata Domain on Saturday with a special training session for younger competitors being held alongside that of the more experienced competitors. The sessions were run by New Zealand’s most awarded heavy event athlete, Pat Hellier. Event Manager, Cindy Driscoll, said they had 12 competitive athletes take part.

“Four of these were new people who will now all compete in the Gough CAT Championship, and for the first time we had equal men and women attend the training day,” she said.

“The junior and teen session went really well with kids getting one-on-one training from the top athletes in the country.

“The Hororata Keas had their camp at the domain on the weekend, and they came down to join us as well.”

Entries are now open for the eighth annual Hororata Highland Games, which will be held at the Hororata Domain on November 10.

“Without the competitions, we would not have an event, so we have always been dedicated to ensuring the competitor’s experience is first-class,” Mrs Driscoll said.

Pat Hellier shows Liam Dodds and other aspiring games athletes how
to toss the caber

“This year we are developing new competitions, providing extra facilities and working to attract new top-level competitors.”

Mrs Driscoll said the Junior Warriors was a unique part of the Highland Games and it was great to see kids getting involved in this sport.

“We recognised that there is a gap in our competitive events with nothing on offer for teens aged between 15 and 17.

“This year, we will introduce the FMG Teen Warriors competition, where boys and girls aged between 15 and 17 years will be able to compete over four heavy athletic disciplines at the games.”

Details and entry forms into the games can be found on the website hororatahighlandgames.org.nz.