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Crowds at Games

  CROWDS AT GAMES writes Shane Fenton
Apart from the small bands of priceless volunteers in each town and village who give up their precious time to mainain the survival of these ancient traditions it is the crowds who are the lifeblood of Highland Games.
Games just wouldn't survive without the regular income taken at the gates every year, many games actually live from year to year. I know at my own games at Markinch that is why we cancel when it's teeming down with rain, apart from being miserable for all involved, why pay out all the prize money when very few people are coming through the gates. Very few have the luxyury of big sponsors.

The current situation is a different dilemma. Currently crowds of any kind are taboo and are likely to be for some time, even restricted socially distanced crowds are no good for Highland games. They are neither workable or viable with most taking place within already tight confines of public parks or open spaces. I reckon many committees are now taking this into consideration when making their decision to cancel. No overseas visitors will also have a major effect. Also, many are thinking of their communities in making a decision, why allow crowds from here, there and everywhere into these small communities when Covid will still be very much in the air and the likelyhood not all will have been vaccinated. Most competitors will be in the last age group to be done.

Allowing restricted and distancing crowds into football, rugby and horse racing ie is a totally different entity. They all take place withing enclosed stadiums with all accounted for and easily policed. You get sent to your allocated section and take your socially distanced seat where your ticket says you must sit. You can't move unless to the portaloo in your section only.

Little chance of being able to replicate that at a Highland games where crowds walk around all over the place, how would you count the crowd to begin with , there won't be a games anywhere there isn't 'sneaker in's'.
All of us want back to the Highland games but lets all wait until it's safe for everyone to do so. No point trying to put on a half measured event just for the sake of it.
We all just need to continue to sit it out and wait for the bell for the last lap of all these restrictions to sound.

[Views solely of Shane Fenton]

Published: 2021-03-26 13:30:12