Nineties favourites, East-17, brought down the curtain on one of the more amazing events we have attended and indeed had the privilege of sponsoring.
The Scottish Coal Carrying Championships held on a gloriously sunny Saturday, witnessed by around 5,000 spectators, saw individual racers carry bags of coal over a kilometre through the streets of Kelty in Fife. The event was an incredible test of strength, determination and endurance and National Pride UK were delighted to be a sponsor and present some of the prizes alongside former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and Willie Rennie, former leader of the Scottish Liberal party.
Scottish Coal Carrying Championship
Established in 1995, the Scottish Coal Carrying Championship was created by Michael Boyle and is one of only two Coal Races in the world. Michael’s ambition creates an everlasting link between the modern-day village and its’ former rich coal mining heritage. It can safely be said that through Michael’s sheer hard work, enthusiasm and organisational skills, the community has benefited greatly over the years that the event has taken place.
Incredibly the men’s race requires participants to carry a 50-kilo bag of coal and the ladies’ race requires a 25-kilo bag of coal to be carried over 1000 metres through the village of Kelty. If that wasn’t amazing enough, Children carry a 15-kilo bag of coal.
There was even a mascots’ race, which this year saw the Fife Flyers mascot beat off stiff competition from the likes of Spider-Man, Buzz Lightyear and Scooby Doo.
Singers, dancers, jugglers and a pipe band entertained everyone adding to the party atmosphere before the community centre concert which included East-17.
The fun day out, returning this year after an enforced absence, was an absolute triumph and we were truly privileged to have played our part to support this community event.
As specialists in repurposing and rejuvenating redundant land and buildings, alongside our investor partner, we recently purchased the 976-acre former coal mine of St Ninians and Loch Fitty, which is located near Kelty.
Our intention, as custodians of this beautiful and awe inspiring site, is that it will be developed as an Eco-Therapy, Leisure and Wellness Park to promote healthy activity, rejuvenation and mental resilience. Exciting development plans include retaining the Charles Jencks landforms, known locally as the ‘walnut whips’, as well as many other inspiring landmark and innovative designs.
The Scottish Coal Carrying Championships struck a real chord with us and the local community made us very welcome. We too share Michael’s ambition to honour the memory of the rich coal-mining heritage of the area and keep the connection alive for future generations to understand the hardship of the industry and how it forged the everlasting community spirit so wonderfully on show at this year’s event.
We intend to sponsor the 2022 Scottish Coal Carrying Championship and continue to do so for many years to come as the St Ninians site becomes a reality. We can’t wait for next year’s running of the event to come around, Bring it on Michael!!!