About Ancient Athletics

Ancient Athletics is the Athletic Unit of the St. Andrews Society of Central Illinois. St Andrews Society of Illinois promotes and spreads Celtic culture through involvement and contributions in the community. This is done by the activities of St. Andrews Society's units and membership. Some main units of the society is Ancient Athletics, Pipes and Drums, Dance, Heritage .

Ancient Athletic Leadership

About Ancient Athletics

The competitors in highland games carry out traditions dating back to the eleventh century and perhaps even earlier. They were originally men who participated in acts of strength showing off their manhood by using items that were commonly found in the Scottish Highlands, such as stones or logs. The Braemar Gathering claims to be the first recorded Highland Games. King Malcolm tested the athletes in a hill race in order to choose a messenger who was not only physically fit, but also quick. Thus the Highland Games were born. Other events were added throughout time as tests of the athletes’ strength and speed. The first formally organized and annual gathering dates back to around 1820. Many of the Heavy Events competitors in the Scottish Highland Athletics are:

  • High school and college track and field athletes

  • High school, college and NFL football players

  • Power Lifters / Crossfit Athletes

  • People who like to have a great time

Increasingly here in the USA, the Heavy Events are attracting women and master class (40+ years old) athletes which has led to a proliferation of additional classes in Heavy Events competitions. Lighter implements are used in these classes. Though originally a sport exclusively for men, women have started playing a greater role in Highland Games competitions. In Scotland, the ratio is now closer to 60-40, more men than women, but women are quickly gaining ground.

About Ancient Athletics

Learn About the Highland Games

The highland games consists of 9 events to test one's strength against others.

  1. Braemer Stone

  2. Open Stone

  3. Light Weight for Distance

  4. Heavy Weight for Distance

  5. Heavy Hammer

  6. Light Hammer

  7. Caber Toss

  8. Heavy Weight Over Bar

  9. Sheaf Toss