T Nation

Anyone Compete in Highland Games?


Does anyone already compete in Highland Games? I was at the games in Vista this year and it was the first time I saw women competing.

Here is a pic of Josee Marie Morneau a Canadian champion.


There is a group out here in Vista, California and I've sent them an email, but besides Phill, does anyone else do this and how did you get started?


Some of you guys may remember Phill, he used to post here all the time always giving great advice. He's doing a highland event for his charity

This just looks like fun! And a lot of hard work. Do they do Conan wheels at the highland events?


WHOOPS!!! here's a picture of a gorgeous guy throwing heavy things for the ladies. I found this link to a highlander association. So hit me up with some info if you've done it!


Yep (thus the user name). Pic is me getting after it in the 56# for height.
Here's the sanctioning body in So Cal:


For the rest of CA:


My wife competed for a few years as well, and we know most of the top women's throwers in CA. You can PM me for more info if you like.


OH!! so HG stands for Highland Games?

Thanks, I am going to shoot you a PM then.


Told ya I'd look bomb in a kilt.

I want to compete, but I'm not sure how to train. HG, advice?


If you have a track throwing background, you are set. If not, the best thing to do is find someone in your area who competes, and have them show you the techniques. Here's a short article on starting out:


Another great site with some basics:


Also, you should just find an event, sign up, and compete. Most games are short on women competitors, and I've seen many first-timers in the womens' groups.


I am actually doing this event in AZ, since I used to live there. It's more of a Highland games/Strongman mashup. Traditional Highland Games consist of 7 events: The Caber, the Open Stone, The Braemar Stone, the Heavy Hammer, the Light Hammer, the Weight for Distance, the Weight for height and sometimes the Sheaf Toss, though I haven't tried that event yet. The best way to get involved is to just enter! I did my first one earlier this year and had a blast; now I'm hooked.

The biggest Games of the year will be in Pleasanton, CA on Labor Day weekend. There's also a smaller games in Santa Cruz, CA in October. Training for it is kind of hard unless you have the implements, although you might be able to get away with using kettlebells. It's a lot like the field events(shotput, discus, etc.). There are some good videos available on YouTube, just do a search.

If you're interested, get yourself a Sport Kilt and go! It's worth it no matter what you place for the fun, learning, and camraderie!

Here are some good sites:



Hope to see you there!


Pleasanton is invite-only (Pros, A's and Masters classes only). Fresno is coming up in mid-September too, and that's a good one for beginners. Also, regarding the kettlebells, I've heard of a few guys who used them for throwing and broke the handles off, and those things aren't cheap. I made some workable implements, but buying the real thing was WAY better.


Well I emailed the folks closest to me and am looking forward to hearing back from them.

Most of my sports involve hitting things (softball, golf, racquetball) so throwing things goes right along with that.


I'd honestly do it just for the kilt; always wanted one. But is it bad karma to wear one if you are not scottish/irish?


I am Scottish/Irish and I say you can wear the kilt :slight_smile:

No one in my clan will mind!

My brother had the men in is wedding party wear kilts and he was the only actual scot in the party. They sure loved wearing them too.


I recently saw Michael Zolkiewicz toss the 56 pounder 18'9" to set a world record. 6-4, 295 and a good lookin' lad. OG you would like him.

I found a vid of it.



I compete and love it. I'm getting ready to start back in October after a three year hiatus due to knee surgery and a motor vehicle accident.

As far as not being Scottish, who cares. One of the best throwers in the South is Kevin Dupuis, not exactly a Scottish name. Just find a neutral Tartan and wear it.

Having a throwing background helps, but we get everything from weekend warriors, to ex-Olympic lifters, to collegiate-level throwers. Its all about having fun, but winning athlete of the day doesn't hurt, either


I've not yet competed but i do intend to.

I've been to quite a few competitions over the years. They're a lot of fun.

Sometimes big names in strongman appear too (Shame i was not at Callander that year): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az_6uPgkGt8

Its so cool that everyone loves the kilt.


I just signed up for my first competition, been half killing myself training trying to get ready strength wise and still be able to fit into my kilt. But ill be sure to post my results on here if they're even remotely good.


Yeah, I just mentioned Pleasanton because it's a great chance to see some of the world's best throwers compete. I think seeing how the pros throw will be an education in and of itself.

As far as using the kettlebells, I guess I should clarify: I didn't mean actually throw them, just use them to help practice some of the motions like the weight for distance, weight for height, etc. In my last Games the guy who won the weight for height had never competed before, but was a kettlebell instructor. I guess all those swings paid off. Regardless, as you said, buying the real thing is way better, but it all depends on your level of commitment.

And yeah, don't throw the 'bells or you'll be shelling out some serious cash. :slight_smile:


I do. I'm on the east coast of Canada. There is a pretty good bunch of games and throwers up here due to the scottish heritage.


No way man. I compete in CA, and half the guys I throw with are Hispanic. And shit, the French used to help out the Scots in wars against the English, so I'm sure French-Candians are OK too!