Thousands of people attend the return of the Gourock Highland Games

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GOUROCK Highland Games were back in full force this weekend with thousands of visitors basking in glorious sunshine for the start of the Scottish season.

Competitor of Gourock Highland Games 2022

The free event, which was halted for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, returned to sunny Battery Park on Sunday, May 8, 2022 with large crowds of spectators enjoying traditional heavy competition, dancing, bagpipes and music, plus a variety of stalls and food stalls throughout the day.

Among the competitions was the mini Highland Games for local schoolchildren organized by the council’s Active Schools/Sports Development Service which saw Gourock Primary take first place with St Mary’s Primary second and King’s Oak and Ardgowan Primary sharing third square.

Gourock <a class=Highland Games 2022 Chieftain George McLeary with the winners of the mini Highland Games” data-assetid=”15065″ src=”https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/_images/pageside/15065/Gourock Highland Games 2022 3.jpg”/>
Gourock Highland Games 2022 Chieftain George McLeary with the winners of the mini Highland Games.

Estimates suggest Battery Park attendance was close to pre-pandemic levels of around 10,000.

Chief Games Officer George McLeary said: ‘We have sorely missed the Gourock Highland Games for the past two years so what a way to bounce back with huge crowds throughout the day enjoying top class entertainment under a bright sun.

“It was a great honor for me to be a chef and I have memories that I will cherish forever.

“A big shout out to all the competitors, dancers, pipers and musicians who took part, as well as the many retailers and businesses who were there on the day to showcase what Inverclyde has to offer and to the council and partners for organizing this wonderful local event.

Gourock Highland Games 2022 Chief George McLeary
Gourock Highland Games 2022 Chief George McLeary.

The Gourock Games, organized by Inverclyde Council, were the first of a series of events as part of the local authority’s Meliora Festival in May and June.

Next up is a match between the Scotland and England Women’s Under-15 teams at Ravenscraig Stadium this Sunday (15 May 2022) at noon to mark 50and anniversary of the first official international match between the countries’ senior teams after the ban on women’s football was lifted in 1972.

This will be followed by the British Pipe Band Championships – the first major of the season – also at Battery Park and with free entry on Saturday May 21, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Pipe band Gourock Highland Games 2022
Pipe band Gourock Highland Games 2022.

The festival will also see the Inverclyde Warrior 5k obstacle course hosted by Inverclyde Leisure at the same venue on June 11, with an event exclusively for local schoolchildren the day before, and an arts extravaganza led by the Beacon Arts Center with exclusive performances by artists. comedians Elaine C Smith, Ed Byrne and a giant inflatable sculpture – Luminarium – at the Greenock site throughout June.

A series of community events, including celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, are also planned thanks to support of £120,000 from the council’s Meliora Festival Community Fund.

For more information on Meliora Festival, visit www.discoverinverclyde.com/meliora-festival or click on the link in the “Other Websites” section of this page.

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Jennifer R. Strohm