Highland Games organizers raise concerns over ground conditions at the site of the annual Ayrshire event


Organizers of the Dundonald Highland Games have warned that this year’s showpiece will not take place unless the playing field used to stage the event receives urgent attention.

This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, August 6, but concerns over pitch conditions have put question marks over its staging.

Dundonald Highland Games is one of Ayrshire’s premier cultural events.

However, construction work near a new development would have adversely affected ground conditions.

As it stands, Games insiders say the condition the ground was left in, the Games “cannot currently continue”.

Organizers have asked both the Dundonald Community Sports Recreational & Heritage Association (DCSRHA) and South Ayrshire Council to “urgently rectify” the issues with the surface conditions.

A Dundonald Highland Games spokesperson said: “Our volunteer committee is absolutely committed to hosting the 33rd Dundonald Highland Games on the grounds on Saturday 6th August and is meeting regularly to discuss and work out options.”

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Chair Elaine McClure said: “We have had several meetings with the DCSRHA and are committed to working with them to ensure we can host the games on the playground. We are exploring all options. it is up to us to overcome access problems, ensure financial viability and, of course, ensure the safety of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, whatever the cost, we will do it!

“We will continue to plan for the day and there is a real buzz in the community as we seek nominations for our queen, assistants and junior chef.

“In the coming weeks we will be opening pit applications, the number of pits and vehicle access may be restricted, but we will do everything we can to make it work for everyone.

Pictured is Dundonald Highland Games 2021 Queen Hannah Clark
Pictured is Queen Hannah Clark of the Dundonald Highland Games 2021

“We will need an army of helpers, so keep an eye on our social media and volunteer where you can.”

If the issues with the terrain can be rectified, the organizers will also hold their usual play week of activities, including a scavenger hunt by car and on foot, a 10k road race, a fun run for the kids, a pet show and a 7-a-side football competition.

A spokesperson added: “We hope to be able to welcome the local community, overseas visitors and new and old friends to our village to enjoy and celebrate our Highland Games.”

For more information, visit www.dundonald-games.org.uk or Facebook-Dundonald Games.

Last year’s event took place virtually due to the pandemic and restrictions at the time on public gatherings.

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Jennifer R. Strohm