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The Highland Games season will soon be under way in Argyll with Morvern Games at Lochaline this Saturday (July 13).
Next on the programme is Inveraray on Tuesday July 16 followed by Mull Games at Tobermory two days later on Thursday July 18. Taynuilt and Southend in Kintyre (evening event) are both on Saturday July 20 and finally Oban Games on Thursday August 22.
Several junior track and field events are being held to encourage more local young athletes to take part. This applies to the Highland Games in Argyll, which are affiliated to the Scottish Highland Games Association (SHGA).
Junior events will be held at Inveraray, Mull, and Oban, with separate events for both boys and girls between the age of 11 and under 16.
The age qualification is under 16 on May 26, 2019 which was the date of the first Games on the SHGA fixture list.
The events are 90 metres, 600 metres, high jump, long jump and shot putt with the two track races being on a handicap basis according to age and ability.
There will be an overall junior championship with points awarded over the series of games and trophies presented to the top boy and girl at Oban Games.
Abbie Cato from Fionnphort was the girls’ champion in 2018 and Jake Gillespie from Lochgilphead won the boys overall trophy. Prize money will be an added incentive at all of the Highland Games.
As well as the junior events at the SHGA Games there is a full programme of senior events (16 years and over) in two categories with local events confined to athletes born or resident in Argyll and Open events.
To compete in the Open events athletes will have to register with the Scottish Highland Games Association for the day or for the season.
Junior athletes at both Inveraray and Mull Highland Games should enter on the field between 10am and 10.30am, with the first event likely to start at 10.45am.
For Mull Games competitors from the mainland are advised to travel on the first ferry from Oban at 7.30am.
Further information on the junior events at Inveraray, Mull and Oban can be obtained by contacting Bill MacCallum on 01546 602664.
Scottish Jumps Championship at Mull Games
For the third year Mull Games has been awarded the Scottish Highland Games Association Jumps Championship which is a national competition for most points in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
This championship will attract some of Scotland’s top jumpers to compete on a field which is regarded as the best surface for jumping of all the Games in Scotland.
In 2016 at Mull, Allan Hamilton from Edinburgh set new Scottish (SHGA) records in both the long jump and triple jump.
Last year Tony Daffurn from Wishaw, the 2017 SHGA Athlete of the Year, set a new Scottish record in the long jump at Mull with a leap of 25-foot one inch. Another two younger athletes to look out for are Aidan Quinn, who is Scotland’s top under-20 triple jumper, and Ewen Bradley from Inverness, who was SHGA Athlete of the Year in 2018.
Both Tony and Aidan have ambitions of breaking the triple jump record of 50.01ft and Allan Hamilton is likely to be back to attempt to regain his long jump record.
One ground record at Mull Games which has withstood the passage of time is the high jump record of 6ft 3.5in set by the great Jay Scott and has survived since 1955.
Jay set the record using a modified scissors technique and did not have the luxury of landing on crash mats.
Allan Smith, Scotland’s Number one high jumper, has indicated he may be at Mull this year.
Ladies Mile Race at Inveraray Games
A ladies mile race will be held at Inveraray on July 16 and is open to women over 16 years, with no upper age limit.
The race will be handicapped according to age and ability, with starts given to the older and slower runners.
All entries are on the day and the race is likely to be in the early afternoon.
In addition to generous prize money an annual trophy will be awarded to the winner. Any Argyll ladies interested?