Activity Mix/EAC Corporate Highland Games July 11th 2009

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This past Saturday saw another very successful running of the Corporate Highland games at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh.  Activity Mix organises sports tournaments throughout the UK in order to “provide a team building experience that motivates staff, promotes health at work and encourages fun in the workplace.”  This year there were 11 teams competing drawn from various companies and organisations including biomedical sciences at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Leisure, Scottish Gas, Wolfson and Deloitte.  For the second year running EAC played a central role in the organisation of this event providing both equipment and expertise and in return receiving a very welcome donation to club funds.

The events in this year’s competition comprised long jump, Irish hammer, caber, 100m dash, Tug O’ War and several other fun activities.  The only thing missing from this year’s games was the short but deceptively difficult trail race held in Colinton Dell.  Here’s hoping this race makes reappearance in next year’s event!  The weather also played its part in the success of the games with a breeze cooling down what would have been a rather hot day for such exertions.

This is a fun event to be involved in whether as a competitor or an official.  There were some very fine performances from individuals and teams new to the great majority of the events but able and willing to rise to the challenge.  The first challenge of the day for Neil Donachie, Colin Hutt and I was to organise the caber event.  Caber throwers we are not but nevertheless we enjoyed helping the teams get to grips with these heavy logs.  Unfortunately the competition had to be cut short when the men’s caber broke after a particularly keenly fought competition!  Next up for me was to help out Sed Remally with the long jump.  In between vigorous bouts of raking I got to watch some excellent competition from both men and women.

Alex McEwan was looking after the Tug O’ War for most of the day.  This is probably the best team building event of the lot as well as a brilliant watch for all the spectators.  In recent weeks Alex has finished up the Thursday Meadows sessions with a Tug O’ War competition so I know how much fun this is and also what it feels like to try this when knackered!

Once again Bill Gentleman organised the very popular Irish Hammer competition which I know from having a go last year is a really fun event.  Donald Gorrie and Barry Craighead teamed up again to organise the hotly contested 100m dash.  Younger members of the club were also represented in the form of Emma Robertson who did a great job of recording the long jump competition.

Well what of the overall result?  In the end Wolfson triumphed in no small part due to the efforts of our jumps athlete Dave Singleton.  However the final results don’t tell the whole story of this event.  For me this event is really all about the taking part, it’s about people getting the chance to try new events or do something they perhaps haven’t done since school.  Its real grass roots stuff this, and about as far away from elite competition as you can get, but if it gets people interested in athletics in some way then it’s a great thing for the club to be involved in.  I know that I get a buzz from trying out new sports and, to judge from the success of Activity Mix corporate events, so do many other folks.  There has been some high-level discussion about building on our successes and the experience gained with Activity Mix so watch this space for similar events in the future.

The Highland Games is a great example of different parts of the club pulling together to make an event happen.  Another event where this happens is the Scottish Gas 5/10k which takes places on the 2nd August.  A more detailed announcement will follow shortly about this but anybody interested in helping should contact Alex McEwan.

Photos from the Highland Games can be found here.

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