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Sadness as plug pulled on popular Sutherland games

By Staff Reporter

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Actor Jimmy Yuill of Golspie was chieftain at the 2017 games.
Actor Jimmy Yuill of Golspie was chieftain at the 2017 games.

One of Sutherland’s most popular Highland Games will not go ahead this year, it has been announced.

Organisers of the trouble-hit Invercharron Games have pulled the plug on the 2019 event because of a lack of man power.

The news has comes as a major blow to games fans, with the Invercharron Games traditionally well supported by athletes and spectators - gate figures were up to 2000 in recent years.

Dating back more than quarter of a century, the event traditionally take place in September at Balblair, near Bonar Bridge.

It is the last games to be held in the circuit and is a decider for a number of Scottish Highland Games Association (SHGA) league events.

But the games have been hit by a series of problems in recent years with fears in 2016 that it might not go ahead because not enough people came forward to form a management committee.

The following years saw the event suffer from severe weather which turned the games field into a quagmire.

An in 2018 the games were called off with just six weeks to go after Balblair landowner Pete Campbell said he needed the games field for grazing due to a severe shortage of fodder caused by that summer’s heatwave.

Games managers issued a statement last week saying a decision had been taken that the games would not be held.

The statement read: “It had been hoped to run the games this year with a small but determined committee.

“However, due to personal circumstances the size of the committee has now dwindled to a level that means that it is impossible to carry out the planning, organising and fundraising that is required in the months preceding the games.

The statement continued: “It had been hoped that the games would take place in Bonar Bridge this year with a view to creating more interest in the event from the local community, however this has not been possible.

“The Games committee would like to thank past committee members, volunteers, judges and sponsors for all their past efforts as well as local landowners for their provision and more recently offers of land on which to hold the games.

The assets of the games have now been frozen and will be made available if a new committee is established to resurrect it.

Ian Grieve, SHGA secretary said: “It is sad it has come to this and hopefully they can re-group and the community can get together to get everything in place for next year.”

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