The Saskatchewan Highland Gathering & Celtic Festival is proud to host the Western Canadian Scottish Athletics Championship at this year’s Regina Highland Festival. The heavy events are well known staples to the highland games around the world. Precursor to modern strongman competitions and two Olympic track and field events (shot put and hammer); these feats of strength and athletic ability are rich in tradition and truly are the ‘original extreme games’! Athletes from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba will compete for this year’s title. In attendance will be several athletes who have competed at the Canadian Championship including a local athlete who currently holds the Canadian title for the second time, Jason Johnston, of White City SK. Another former Canadian Champion in the amateur division, Josh Goldthorpe, will represent Alberta. The Championship promises to be an impressive display as several athletes will be achieving World class distances in the 9 traditional heavy events.
Precursor the to the modern day Olympic shot put, the Quality Tire Service Open Stone is a well recognized event. Within the rectangular throwing area, the athletes use whatever style they please to build up momentum for a powerful release. Quick feet and functional strength are the keys to a good throw in the Open stone, and those who try to over muscle it usually wind up disappointed. Track and Field athletes have an advantage here, but a good all round highland gamer can keep pace with the best of them.
Without question, this event is the most ancient of highland games heavy events so it’s no wonder why a traditional Scottish pub kicks off the Western Canadian Championship with this event. A true test of brute strength, the Knotted Thistle Braemar Stone is a heavy field stone weighing up to 28 pounds and thrown with one hand from a standing position. A good throw in this event will put an athlete in a good position for the rest of the competition.
Westside Refrigeration, Heating, and Air Conditioning bring you the event that created the modern day Olympic Hammer. The heavy Scot’s hammer is a 22 pound ball at the end of a rigid 50” handle. Unlike the Olympic hammer, athletes must throw the traditional hammer with feet firmly planted relying on strength and power rather than momentum and speed to hurl the implement as far as they can. Another key difference is that this hammer outweighs the Olympic hammer by 6 pounds requiring tremendous strength and balance to achieve the best distance possible.
Most definitely the farthest event of the Highland games. Look for distances well over 100 feet and even some world class marks greater than 130 feet, but keep your eye on the hammer, because athletes must accelerate this implement to nearly 50 miles per hour to achieve that distance. Being strong but all the while smooth is the key to a good hammer throw. This event is open for sponsorship.
Fries Tallman will deliver your lumber in a flat bed truck, but these highland athletes will pick up much more than a construction stud with their bare hands, run with it, and flip it end for end. Gaelic for tree, the caber toss event is just that, flipping a tree end for end and it is the most recognizable event of the highland games. Despite how high and far the caber will be tossed, the name of the game is accuracy and the athlete who can flip the caber the straightest (closest to 12:00 on a clock face) will win the title of best caber highlander on the glen.
Just as Peter Stoudt tried to raise the profile of heavy events, athletes will throw a 56 pound weight over an ever rising bar. A staple to strongman competitions, the weight over bar is a true test of strength. Athletes receive three attempts at each height until they are eliminated from the competition or stand as the competitor with the highest throw of the day. Putting this event in perspective, pick up a 5 gallon pail full of water (imperial gallons) and imagine throwing that one handed into a second story bedroom window would be very close…all you would need is another gallon to make it a full 56 pounds!
When Canadian Club first entered production, pitching hay into the loft was an everyday activity at the distillery. They sheaf you will see these athletes throw is a burlap bag filled with twine to resemble a sheaf of wheat, and the goal is to throw it as high as possible over a bar. The Canadian record holder will be on hand at the Western Canadian Championships hoping to eclipse his record toss of over 34 feet high. Always a crowd favourite, the sheaf is an exciting competition to watch.
The light weight for distance is truly remarkable to watch while tall heavy men move with the speed of a sprinter and grace of a dancer. This weighted ball at the end of an 18” chain is thrown for maximum distance with one hand similar to the Olympic discus event. The only difference is the light weight outweighs the disc by over 23 pounds! Not so light, is it? None the less, athletes at the Western Canadian Championship will throw this weight clear across the length of a tennis court with relative ease. It’s a good warm up for a similar event which weighs twice as much.
BIG BIG BIG is their motto so this is why Simon at Popeye’s Regina brings you the heavy weight for distance. Take that same pale of water in the weight for height and spin 920O to gain momentum for a throw of maximum distance, and you have the heavy weight for distance. A 4 stone or 56 pound weight at the end of an 18” chain is thrown by these football linemen sized athletes far enough for a first down plus a few yards. Requiring more skill and strength than any other event, look for the winner of the heavy weight for distance to win the Western Canadian title.
|Braemar Stone||Jason Johnston||43’ 6.5”||May 18, 2014|
|16lb Open Stone||Jason Johnston||53’ 10.5”||May 16, 2015|
|16lb Hammer||Jason Johnston||139’ 4.5”||May 16, 2015|
|28lb Weight for Distance||Jason Johnston||82’ 2.5”||May 18, 2014|
|56lb Weight for Distance||Jason Johnston||45’ 10”||May 18, 2014|
|56lb Weight Over Bar||Jason Johnston||17’ 1”||May 16, 2014|
|20lb Sheaf||Jason Johnston||34’ 3”||May 18, 2014|
|16lb Sheaf||Jason Johnston||40’ *World Record||May 18, 2014|
|Open Stone||Jason Johnston||53’ 10.5”||
|May 16, 2015|
|Braemar Stone||Jason Johnston||43’ 6.5”||
|May 18, 2014|
|16lb Hammer||Jason Johnston||140’||
Red Deer, AB
|22lb Hammer||Jason Johnston||111’ 8.5”||
|May 16, 2015|
|28lb Weight for Distance||Jason Johnston||85’||
|August 30, 2014|
|56lb Weight for Distance||Jason Johnston||46’ 9” *Canadian Record||
|September 1, 2012|
|56lb Weight Over Bar||Jason Johnston||17’ 7” *Canadian Record||
|August 30, 2012|
|20lb Sheaf||Jason Johnston||34’ 3”||
|May 18, 2014|
|16lb Sheaf||Jason Johnston||40’ *World Record||
|May 18, 2014|
For heavy events information, contact: