Kate Boeve brings the Scottish Highland Games to the Netherlands
HOLLAND – Local athletes looking to test their strength will have a unique opportunity to do so this summer at the Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival and Highland Games.
The event will feature song, dance and food from Ireland and Scotland. But one of the main attractions will be the Highland Games. Kate Boeve, originally from Ohio but has lived in Holland for many years, is the Sports Director of the Highland Games during the festival.
But she’s not just a random festival employee tasked with helping organize the games. She’s one of the best in the world at these very specific games. There are nine events that make up the games which all require strength and technique to throw and lift heavy objects.
“Events are like athletics where it’s not just about throwing something,” said Boeve. “It helps if you’re strong, but to get the best quality you need to have the rhythm of twisting and using your legs, not just your arms. It’s also finesse and skill. . ”
If there is anyone who is qualified to give advice on how to be successful in these niche sporting events, it is Boeve. She recently placed second overall in her age group at the Masters World Champion International Highland Games in Austin, Texas.
She also currently holds the world record for throwing a 10-pound sheaf of straw on a bar, at 19 feet 6 inches. Other events include the Scottish Hammer Throw, Caber Throw, which is basically a long tree trunk, Barbell Shot Put, and other similar throw-type events.
She got involved in the games just a few years ago when she took her children to the Kalamazoo Scottish Festival where she first saw them. They allowed spectators to participate and she jumped in and the spark was ignited.
“I’ve always loved athletics, but it’s also fun to be part of a group of people with such great camaraderie,” said Boeve. “A lot of people will train you so well you’ll beat them, and they’ll always be happy to train you, it’s a great community to play with.”
Neighboring towns and villages have already organized Highland Games competitions. Alma, Kalamazoo and a few others across the state are no strangers to these cultural must-haves. But this festival will mark the first time Holland will host the games.
People from all over the country are expected to take part in the games in Holland, but they are not limited to experienced athletes. Boeve intends to have training materials and schedules this spring ahead of the festival to teach those who want to learn in a safe and friendly environment. She is thrilled that her town is finally experiencing the magic of Highland games.
“We’re really excited for the whole festival, the dancing and the music and of course the games,” Boeve said. “A lot of people see games as a highlight because you can drink anywhere [at any festival], but you cannot play these games at any festival. ”
The Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival and Highland Games take place on June 24-25 and are scheduled to be held at Window on the Waterfront Park in downtown Holland. Registration for Holland’s Highland games will begin in January.