A number of current and previous world champions will head to Dunoon, Argyll, in nine days time to compete at Scotland’s biggest highland games, Cowal Highland Gathering. The event, which takes place 26th to 28th August at Dunoon Stadium, is set to entertain up to 23,000 visitors across the three days with a string of exciting and very competitive championship events.
St Laurence O’Toole, the newly crowned 2010 World Pipe Band Champions, will make their way to Cowal Games on Saturday 28th August. The Grade One band from Dublin will compete in the globally acclaimed Cowal Pipe Band Championships and will again be up against Northern Ireland’s Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band, this year’s runner up at the Worlds and last year’s Cowal Champions. Both bands will also compete against the Toronto Police Pipe Band from Canada, one of the top pipe bands in the world. The band made the decision this year to compete at Cowal Games and not the Worlds in Glasgow. An interview with the band in this month’s Piping Today Magazine revealed that the band is “heading to Cowal to win” and that it is “something different, a new experience and the right place for them to go this year.”
2009 World Heavy Athletic Champion Aaron Neighbour from Melbourne, Australia, makes his first trip to Cowal Highland Gathering to compete in the Cowal Heavy Athletic Championships this year. Aaron Neighbour, who is 6’6” and weighs 280lbs, was crowned World Champion at The Gathering event at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh last year. Strong competition is expected between World Champion Aaron Neighbour, the 2007 World Champion Gregor Edmunds and five times Cowal Championship winner Jason Young.
The Adult World Highland Dancing Championships take place again at Cowal Highland Gathering. 2009 World Champion, David Wilton, has held his title for three years running and returns to Dunoon next week to compete and reclaim his title. Over 500 highland dancers will compete at Cowal Highland Gathering this year, with some as young as seven years old. In addition to the Adult World Highland Dancing Championships, Cowal Highland Gathering also hosts the World Juvenile and Junior, Argyll and Scottish Highland Dancing Championships.
Cowal Highland Gathering, which hosts a string of family entertainment, attracts up to 23,000 visitors every year. Heavy athletes and more than 500 highland dancers and 3000 pipers travel from all over the world to compete to win championship titles. Saturday celebrates with the very best of the region’s local food and drink, a ceilidh tent, children’s entertainment tent, fairground rides, market stalls, the March Past, a parade through the town and a spectacular fireworks display at night. This year the event welcomes former Dr Who star Sylvester McCoy as its honorary Chieftain.
Cowal Highland Gathering is Scotland’s biggest highland games. It takes place at Dunoon Stadium, Argyll from Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th August, 9am to 6pm each day. For tickets and more information visit www.cowalgathering.com or telephone 01369 703 206. Listen live online on Dunoon Community Radio 97.4fm! For more information visit www.dunooncommunityradio.org.
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Notes to Editors:
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About Cowal Highland Gathering:
- Since the very first gathering on 11th August 1894, Cowal Highland Gathering has become a world famous institution and has gone from strength to strength. For decades, Cowal has been a major promoter of highland games, music, dance, tradition and remains a key date in the Highland Dancing and Piping competition calendar.
- The event attracts 3500 competitors from all over the world with many from Scottish communities-in-exile as far flung as Canada and New Zealand.
Cowal Highland Gathering supported by:
- EventScotland, the national events agency established in 2002 with the aim of strengthening and promoting Scotland’s events industry.
- Corona – sponsors of the heavy athletics
- Stewart McNee (Dunoon) Ltd – sponsors of the Scottish Highland Dancing Championships
- William Wallace (Dunoon) Ltd
- Stewart Shaw (Dunoon) Ltd & Cowal Building and Plumbing Services – Sponsors of the local confined highland dancing on the Saturday
- Inveraray Jail – Sponsors of the Children’s Entertainment Tent
- Western Ferries – Sponsors of the Fireworks Display
- MacArthur Property Group – Sponsors of the Ceilidh Tent
- United Kingdom Alliance of Dance Teachers – Sponsors of the Scottish National Highland Dance Championships & joint Sponsors of the World Championships
- Federation of United States Teachers and Adjudicators
- Tartan Town
- Selborne Hotel (Dunoon)
- Ross MacArthur (Contractors) Ltd – Logistical support
- Argyll Holidays – Sponsors of the Ceilidh Tent Acts
- TSL Contractors Ltd – Sponsors of the Wrestling
- Scottish Dance Teachers Association – Joint Sponsors of the World Championships
- British Association of Teachers of Dance – Joint Sponsors of the World Championships