Bute’s Highland Games shone in the sun on Saturday as a bumper crowd turned out to see the biggest event in the island’s calendar.
Thousands of spectators lined the Games venue at the Public Park in Rothesay to see some two hundred Highland dancers, more than 20 pipe bands, a dozen heavy events contenders, wrestlers, junior athletes, road runners and young shinty players put on a fine exhibition of traditional Scottish entertainment.
This year’s Games had an appropriately Olympian theme - the ceremonial chieftain’s role was filled by Rhona Simpson, who played hockey for Great Britain at two Olympic Games and is Scotland’s most capped hockey player - as well as being an ambassador for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the niece of a Bute Highland Games stalwart, the late Willie Hunter.
Rhona was joined by three special guests, all with an Olympic connection - Jane Ross, who was named as a stand-by player in the Team GB women’s football squad for London 2012, and Jenna Speirs and Victoria O’Reilly, who both carried the Olympic torch on the first day of its journey through Scotland in June.
Among the notable performers at Saturday’s Bute Games were Jason Young, from Tain in Ross-shire, who lifted the Duke of Rothesay’s Trophy and the Craigie Macfie Memorial Trophy thanks to his victory in the Bute Heavy Events Championship, and Rothesay Academy pupil Jay McGroarty, who won the Marquess of Bute’s Trophy for the best young athlete at the event.
With the sun beating down on Bute, Saturday’s Games ended in traditional fashion, with all the day’s pipe bands parading from the Games venue down the High Street to Rothesay town centre, cheered and applauded all the way by the delighted crowds.
* For more photos from the 2012 Bute Highland Games, and complete results from the event, see the new issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, August 23.
We’ve also posted a small selection of pictures from the day on our Facebook page - click on the link to the right of this article to go straight there.