The intrepid Scottish spirit will run deep in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Saturday when some of the country’s strongest men – this time in kilts – compete at the Bell’s Fort Nottingham Highland and Traditional Games.
Ettiene Smit, six-times South Africa’s strongest man, will join Hennie Jordaan (Pretoria), Andre Sweeney (Nigel) and Russell Swanepoel and Dean Shelley from Durban for some energy-sapping Scottish sport, including the 140kg suitcase walk, 135kg giant log lift, 180kg rock walk, caber toss, and the famous Atlas Stones.
Aficionados of all things tartan will know that Atlas Stones refers to the placing of five stones of increasing weight on top of various podiums.
After all this heaving and grunting, spectators will be pleased to know that plenty of food and less strenuous entertainment has been laid on too.
Brendan Grealy, the co-ordinator of the project, said the public could expect traditional Scottish fare such as haggis, while beer wagons will be on hand to help wash down the offal – all as the skirl of bagpipes fills the air.
“This year we have two military bands, two cadet bands and two pipe bands, which make up about 100 participants on the music side of things. Jason Hartman [of “Idols” fame] will be playing in the music tent with the band Celtics,” said Grealy.
“On the dance stage we have a group of dancers, and over 20 craft stalls and food outlets. We also have a local school coming to sing the national anthem,” he said.
About 300 people would be involved in the games, which included the athletes and pipers, both in bands and solo.
The traditional Scottish games are designed to enhance the espirit de corps of the participating regiments and local civilian teams, all of which consider their participation as a reflection on their sporting and ancestral heritage.
The games run from 10am until late.
For further information, call Brendan Grealy on 083 227 2376, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org