Convener’s Welcome to the 144th Nairn Highland Games!

Always one of the largest and most popular amateur gatherings in the North the Games have been an annual feature on Nairn’s calendar for 156 years. First held in 1867, the only interruptions have been the World Wars of the 20th century, and the pandemic in 2021/22.
 The town is justifiably proud of this, the foremost event in the Burgh calendar. And so it should be. Games Day in Nairn is a little bit like New Year elsewhere – it is the time and the place to meet up with old friends, catch up with relatives and make new friends.

Now – to the day itself – you will see some Piping (putting green area) and Junior Athletics (arena) in the morning. Then comes the March of the Massed Pipe Bands, which will leave Viewfield at 12.30pm and march by the traditional route down the A96 and into Crescent Road. On their arrival in the arena our special guest and Chieftain, Lord Cawdor will perform the opening ceremony. Then the afternoon programme begins at 1pm containing the usual thrilling mix of Track and Field, Piping, Dancing, Heavy Events and the Tug of War.

As far as we know, we host the last remaining free Games in the Highlands. (Please note – a charge is made for Ringside seating, as is only appropriate, given the premium location – but the thousands who watch from the surrounding bankings are welcome to do so, absolutely free of charge). It is therefore the generosity of those who feed the buckets that help to make the whole event possible, and we are delighted to say that we have always found Nairn folk to be deeply generous.

It is an important day for the participants, an enjoyable day for the spectators, and a day of hard work for the much appreciated volunteers, officials and committee members. The support of our sponsors, our donors, the Highland Council and the Nairn Common Good Fund all help to keep us afloat. We are especially delighted that Royal Brackla Distillery are continuing their sponsorship of Nairn Games over the next few years. This allows us to supply a little bit of hospitality to our guests whom we invite to present the prizes to the winners, but much more importantly it provides a measure of financial security to ensure the Games stability into the future.

And so, I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to Committee Members, Officials, Judges, volunteer help, as well as Royal Brackla, and of course the local businesses, the Council, the Common Good Fund and the community of Nairn, who all help and support in different ways. In the true traditions of Highland hospitality, I should also like to extend the warmest of Nairn welcomes to everyone attending the Games, including, of course, our visitors from overseas and returning expatriates. We welcome you all, and wish you a truly great day!

Hugh Allison
Nairn Highland Games