Where can you find a ton of tartan, bold bag pipes and feats of super human strength in Roanoke County, Virginia? Only at the 2014 Green Hill Highland Games where you'll see some of the most outstanding kilt-donning athletes around!
On Saturday, September 27 from 9am-5pm, Roanoke County’s Green Hill Park will host the Green Hill Highland Games. Both male and female athletes will challenge one another in traditional Scottish heavy athletics and strength competitions, including the Weight Throw, Scottish Hammer Throw, Stone Put and the always entertaining Caber Toss, which involves tossing a long, tapered pine log or pole end-over-end. Come on out and cheer on the athletes, spectator admission is FREE.
The 2014 Green Hill Highland Games will benefit a local Wounded Warrior, Mike Pyle. Pyle served in the United States Navy from 1989-1993. During Desert Storm, Pyle was exposed to cancer causing chemicals that have left him with an amputated leg and terminal lung cancer. By raising funds for this native Roanoker, the games will be supporting an individual who served his country honorably.
Over the years the Highland Games have drawn both men and women to the strength competition around the United States. One such super star of the Highland Games world is Heather McKenzie, who is currently tied for second in the nation for the “Sheaf Toss”. In the Sheaf Toss the athlete uses a 2 or 3 tined pitch fork to throw a 16 or 20 lb. bag over a bar. McKenzie, who is from Arlington, VA, was introduced to the games as a young child by her father who was a competitor and now a judge in the sport. She first participated in a Highland Games as an extra thrower to help make it a 3 person event and has been throwing ever since.
Because of the growth of the sport, McKenzie says “Now you have to fight to get into a women’s class, with games boasting 8-15 ladies on average. It’s been really neat to see the sport grow.” During her career, McKenzie, while competing in 20 states, has won several prominent events, including the Midwest Championship in Indiana, Southern Maryland Celtic Festival, and the Central West Virginia Celtic Festival. She enjoys beating her own personal record and says about the culture of the sport, “The camaraderie in this sport is second to none. Everyone wants you to be better than you were the competition before. The athletes cheer each other on, and really strive to offer advice and sportsmanship.”
The 2014 Green Hill Highland Games are brought to you by Roanoke County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Virginia Prosthetics & Orthotics, with media support from Fox21/27 and The CW5. For more information about the 2014 Green Hill Highland Games or if you have what it takes to compete in the Games and want to register for the competition, visit www.RoanokeCountyParks.com or contact Wendi Schultz at 540.777.6326 or email email@example.com.