We will be hoping again this year we will be blessed with another sunny day for the Nairn Games but of course we never know what the good old Scottish weather is going to throw at us.
In recent years we have enjoyed the good favour of the elements and hope our supporters and visitors from “a’ the airts” enjoy some lovely Nairn sunshine today and can savour their experience of the only free Highland Games in Scotland in what is a breathtaking setting at the links beside the Moray Firth.
The challenges of staging such an event of this scale are ever present and today marks a very special year as we bid farewell to our major sponsor The Macallan. The Speyside whisky firm has been valued supporters of the games for more than a decade
and organisations like ours depend on the goodwill of the public and sponsorship from local companies such as Macallan to keep spectacles such as the games solvent.
We bid farewell to Macallan but we want to say a very sincere thank you for its valued support both financially and in kind, which has done so much to enhance what we offer at our gathering and we wish the company continued success for the future.
No sooner will the curtain come down after the last caber is thrown this afternoon than the committee will be putting plans in place for next year – and sourcing another major
sponsor will be a major priority. So if there are any companies wanting their brand on the Nairn Games next year we will be delighted to hear from them!
It’s a monumental effort by a handful of faithful volunteers and I thank them all for the great commitment of time and skills they offer to ensure the games run without a hitch.
Our team of officials will ensure our programme runs smoothly in the finest traditions of the Nairn Games and according to the rules of the Scottish Amateur Athletics Association.
One of the highlights this afternoon will be the opening parade featuring the colours of British Legion branches around the country.
It is our way of commemorating those who gave their lives in the First World War which started a century ago in 1914 and we thank the Legion colour parties for their dedication
in remembering our ex-servicemen and women at so many ceremonies across the land year on year.
That it all comes together and runs smoothly on the day never ceases to amaze me and I know without the loyal support of these volunteers and the efforts of Highland Council TEC services staff it would not be possible to bring this event together.
In recent programmes we have run special features with coverage of the games from the Nairnshire Telegraph. And today again through the kind auspices of our local paper we carry an account of the games in years gone by which we hope is of interest to our readers.
We are forever grateful to the Nairnshire for the exposure it gives to the games, publishing all our results and lots of photographs we can treasure for years to come.
It goes without saying it is a special event in the town’s calendar and visitors will be interested to know that exiles from Nairn travel from all over the world to be here to catch up with old friends on this special day.
To say we live in challenging times is an understatement and as convener I would like to thank everyone who has sponsored an event, become a Friend of the Nairn Games, or anyone who puts a pound in the collection boxes which you will see come round the arena.
Many Scots of course went abroad to make their mark and these games have always an international flavour with visitors from across the globe.
Today there is a meeting place near the bandstand for exiles wishing to catch up with old friends and there will be an opportunity to sign a visitors’ book. This is being hosted
by Lorna Helby (née Cameron), a Nairn exile from Australia and we thank Lorna for this initiative because it is very much in the spirit of the Nairn Highland Games.
As convener it is my pleasure to welcome you all – whether your journey has been short or long – and I hope you enjoy the afternoon of competition.
Nairn Highland Games Convener
The Macallan Nairn Highland Games Committee
Chieftain: Lord Cawdor
Convener: S Ross
Committee Secretary: S Farrell
Treasurer: G Forbes
Athletics / Entries Secretary: S Ross
Committee: E. Mann, B Tucker, I. Finlayson, K. Bruce, Cllr C. Macaulay, L.Rutter, D.Morrison, H.Allison, D.Wilson, M.Oag, L.Macaulay, D. Prior, J. Dolan.
For more information you can contact:
Call Gordon Forbes on 01667 452422
(For trade stances phone Lynne MacLennan on 01667 458552)
Pipe Band Enquiries
Call Lyn Rutter on 01667 451075
Call Alister Stewart on 01667 462173