FERGUS – This year’s Scottish festival will be featuring some heavy competition when it comes to tossing cabers, stones and sheafs.
Festival organizers have announced the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games will be hosting the World Heavy Events Championships at this summer’s event.
Elizabeth Bender, festival executive director, said in a phone interview she’s thrilled and excited for Fergus to host the world championships as it was supposed to in 2020 before it got cancelled. This will be the third time it has been hosted in Fergus with the last time being 2012.
“We will be having the best in the world with respect to heavy events competing at our festival,” Bender said.
Heavy events chair Warren Trask said they’re expecting 12 athletes to come from Europe, United States and Canada to compete in the world championships.
Trask, also a heavy events athlete, said it will be nice to see the best of the best at throwing close to home.
He said the Fergus festival typically has one of the strongest fields of heavy events competitors but this should amp the competition up a bit, even if the weight of the objects being thrown remains the same.
“We should have a little farther distances from all the athletes, the level of competition is just stepped up a little bit,” Trask said. “There’s a chance we could have world records set but then usually we’ve got athletes that do have that ability. I guess if you’re competing against a better level of athlete though sometimes you throw a little bit better.”
Both Trask and Bender are hearing an increased buzz in the Fergus Scottish Festival since this announcement.
“There’s a lot of interest in it and I think heavy events are truly one of those really unique athletic events that you don’t see everywhere right? So it’s already pretty cool to see it at its regular level,” Bender said, noting the events are rooted in very basic ideas of throwing things like rocks and trees while rooted in Scottish History.
“It gives an experience that you won’t get at another event … It’s unique and now we have the best in the world doing it. We’re gonna see distances and heights that we have not seen in a really long time.”
Bender said the world championship will not impact other events but will be included in with the expected lineup this summer.
Tickets for the Fergus Scottish Festival and campsites go on sale on Wednesday. The festival runs from Aug. 11 to 13.