By Akira Komatsu

            People  wait for the coming of the first Saturday of August. The Brodick ( Arran )

Highland Games annually take place in Brodick, main town of the Isle of Arran. This year

it was held on August 6 at Ormidale Park in Brodick. Traditional Brodick Highland Games are

one of the most famous events in the island. The games, which have hundred of years’ history,

include track and field, hammer throwing, caber tossing. The participants of the games

compete for speed, strength, and fest one another.

            Hammer throwing and caber tossing are very simple and plain. They must have had

something to do with their daily activities hundreds years ago. Today only big men with great

strength might be qualified to join the games. They compete, wearing traditional kilts that

remind us of the old days. There were only several people who participated in both hammer

throwing and caber tossing. It seems that the number of big men is decreasing in the island.

These two events were held in the middle of the field , and spectators could not watch the

events nearby.

On the other hand, track is popular among children and young people. Spectators

became one with the runners. In the track events, athletes compete according to age and

gender. It was amazing that very young children took part in the race. Even young male and

female people positively joined the race. In the long distance track race, elderly men ran with

young men. They showed the spectators the guts and spirit even if they were behind the young


The Ormidale Park was full of spectators, and women’s colorful clothes drew people’s

attention. There were food stands and smoke of burning hamburgers pervaded the air.

Hamburgers are typical American fast food, and they were as popular as fish and chips here.

            Outside of the field, bagpipe music could be heard. It seemed that the bagpipe music

was necessary for such events to create typical Scottish atmosphere. There were several

bagpipe bands. The bagpipe performance could become a picture when they played

bagpipes while marching.

            Not only visitors from other areas but also the whole islanders seemed to have a

good time, watching traditional games that were handed down from generation to

generation. Brodick Highland Games helps islanders to be one with each other.