PUTTING IN: Jarrard Potter gives his all in the stone toss during the highland games at Maclean Showground on Saturday.
PUTTING IN: Jarrard Potter gives his all in the stone toss during the highland games at Maclean Showground on Saturday. Debrah Novak

OUR SAY: Giving it my best shot at the games

I WOKE yesterday morning and everything hurt. Every muscle in by body was stiff, sore or tender.

The reason? On Saturday I competed for the first time in the highland games at Maclean's Highland Gathering.

Prior to the competition I sought advice from Clarence Valley CrossFit co-owner Jesse Rhynard who informed me that many of the events were similar to CrossFit exercises, and it was more a matter of practice and technique than strength. Since I had not practised and possessed none of the desired attributes, I knew things were going to be tough.

The games included a stone throw, hammer throw, caber toss, farmer walk, log wrestling and the kilted dash.

The most challenging event was without doubt the caber toss.

My first attempt was unfortunately a disgrace to the proud tradition of hurling large wooden poles.

My second attempt thankfully had some of the hallmarks of a proper caber toss, just without the essential flip.

It was a fun day of competition for all the men and women who took part in the games.

As a first-timer, who had never before participated in anything like the highland games, it was a challenge but I'm proud to have been able to complete all the events, despite my distinct lack of style and technique.

One thing that stood out was how supportive everyone was of each other in all the events, cheering and clapping one another on.

For a rookie like myself, up against people who have done similar things in the past, it was fantastic to receive that encouragement which pushed me on to make sure I did my best.

The women's competition was just as fierce as the men's, with competitors haggis hurling and caber tossing with the best of them.

The eventual winner of the men's competition was Kurt Livens, who like me was a Maclean highland games first-timer but unlike me has competed in strongman competitions in the past.

Kurt, who travelled with his family travelled from the Hunter Valley to be a part of the games, said it had been great to be part of the Maclean event.

"We thought it was something fun to do at Easter time rather than just sit around at home, so it's been great to come up and be a part of it," he said.

"If anyone is interested in highland games, I'd say just get in and have a go and have some fun, it's a good fun day and everyone supports everyone."



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