Schools in Caithness get busy during Highland games events

Caithness Primary Schools took part in two special Highland Games events as part of an initiative by Wick Active Schools (WAS).

On Wednesday 25th May Wick Rural Highland Games hosted an event hosted by Lybster Primary School on a wet and windy day which included other rural schools in Dunbeath, Bower, Keiss, Thrumster, Watten and Canisbay.

The Highland Games event in Lybster was a great success.
Lybster Elementary students braved the elements for the Highland <a class=Games event.” data-root=”/_media/img/” data-path=”JCLL0CCJX6Z37VQC1KO7.jpg” data-ar=”0.75″/>
Lybster Elementary students braved the elements for the Highland Games event.
Highland <a class=Games activities in Lybster.” data-root=”/_media/img/” data-path=”XXWJGC7EZKC6BY00SU4Q.jpg” data-ar=”0.75″/>
Highland Games activities in Lybster.

Approximately 120 P4-7 students were supported by eight coaches and the WAS coordinator competing in three separate events – throwing (caber throw, shot put, shot for distance and hammer throw), running (100 meter sprint , 4 x 100 meter relay race and 400 meter race) and a tug of war competition. The schools participated in a round robin tournament. Scores were accumulated throughout each of these events and the winning school was Canisbay Primary earning 95 points.

Prepare for arm wrestling.
Prepare for arm wrestling.
All the students line up for <a class=the Highland Games event at Lybster.” data-root=”/_media/img/” data-path=”41SD5QJ5N8NNLZMH2INU.jpg” data-ar=”1.78″/>
All the students line up for the Highland Games event at Lybster.
The rain and wind failed to dampen the morale of the Lybster students.
The rain and wind failed to dampen the morale of the Lybster students.

WAS Coordinator Gary McDonald said: “It was amazing to see all the rural schools competing and being together again. It had been a long time since there had been an event in the Wick area due to the Covid period.

“However, all the youngsters persevered through the wet day and had a great time. the best, they all managed to adapt and make the games more enjoyable.

The Best Boy and Best Girl winners from Thrumster PS and Bower PS.
The Best Boy and Best Girl winners from Thrumster PS and Bower PS.
The winning team from Canisbay Primary School.
The winning team from Canisbay Primary School.
Highland Games at Lybster Primary School.
Highland Games at Lybster Primary School.

“Lybster Primary School were excellent hosts during the event and they even made specific posters for each school to leave their belongings. Finally, thank you to all the schools that participated and a special mention to the primary school in Canisbay for winning the overall games, I think it’s been at least 10 years since they won.

Noss and Newton's Primary 7 pupils.
Noss and Newton’s Primary 7 pupils.

On Friday May 27, Newton and Noss Primary Schools (approximately 80 P7 pupils) took part in a Highland Games event at Wick High School (WHS) on a sunny day. The Wick Town Highland Games event was run by WAS with the help of eight coaches and Mr. McDonald.

Both schools participated in the same activities that took place in Lybster two days earlier. Scores were accumulated throughout each of the events and the winning school was Noss Primary School with 221 points, followed by Newton Park PS with 205 points. The event was only open to P7 pupils as it was meant to help with the transition period to WHS after the summer and seen as “a great way for everyone to work together”.

One of the Newton Park students making the shot put for the distance throwing event.
One of the Newton Park students making the shot put for the distance throwing event.
Highland Games tug of war competition in Wick.
Highland Games tug of war competition in Wick.

Mr McDonald commented: “After the success of the Highland Rural Games, it was the turn of the city schools. Luckily the weather was on our side and the mood was more competitive compared to the previous event – ​​even the school staff got involved which was a joy to see.

“Although the games were competitive, it was a fun and friendly environment and it was the first time I had seen the two schools play against each other. Throughout the day, the point tally between the schools was very However, the deciding factor was the tug of war event where Noss Primary prevailed.

Highland Games tug of war team in Wick.
Highland Games tug of war team in Wick.
Here we go !
Here we go !
Children participate in another Highland Games activity in Wick.
Children participate in another Highland Games activity in Wick.

“Thank you to all the participants who took part, the staff who accompanied them and once again to my coaching staff who participated. Overall, I was delighted to host both events as it It was my first after having held the position for almost three years.The best part of the games for me personally was seeing all the young people of the East Caithness district together again.

“Covid has unfortunately hindered a lot of time for these learners away from health and wellbeing and I think this is a positive turning point for each of them.”


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Jennifer R. Strohm