Celtic festival brings Scottish Highlands to the Queen City
She may stand at just five-foot-three, but Megan Melham's competitors don't underestimate her.
“Especially when you consider some of the monsters that are walking around here, I look even smaller,” Melham said. “For me to be able to pick this stuff up and show them that… women can do this, it just requires a little more work in the gym.”
Melham has been throwing in Scottish heavy athletics for nearly nine years. She makes a point to come to the Saskatchewan Highland Gathering and Celtic Festival in Regina every year she can — including the festival this weekend.
“The community is just absolutely amazing. You can see everybody is cheering for each other, everybody's happy with distances, and if anybody gets a personal best or anything else, everybody is cheering for you,” she said.
But the sport is not for the faint of heart, with participants throwing weighted stones, hammers and even logs.
Matt Reling started the sport three years ago, after his Scottish grandfather told him to try it out. He now competes at events across Western Canada.
“It's one thing that (my grandfather) said he had never done, actually picked up a caber and tossed one. So it was kind of his legacy for me,” said Reling. “It's where we came from. It's what we do. It's ancestry.”
This weekend’s festival also featured food trucks, Irish and highland dancing, as well as traditional piping and drumming.
“It's really important to have this kind of music available, and to hold on to that culture as well,” said Barbara MacDonald, festival organizer.
The games typically draw between 5,000 and 7,000 visitors to Regina’s Victoria Park every year.