Thank you Clan Hororata!

A message from Hororata Community Trust Chair, Ainsley Walter

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Hororata Highland Games.

On Saturday 11th November 2023 we delivered, in my opinion, the best Hororata Highland Games to date. What made it extraordinary, for me, amongst other things, was the cohesion and atmosphere within Clan Hororata and the sportsmanship of the competitors. Not to mention a record number of Highland Dancers, 20 Pipe Bands, and a strong contingent of Heavy athletes. Plus our walk up events Tug O’ War, Kilted Mile and Pie Eating Competition proved, once again very popular. Let’s not forget the fun massed Scottish Country Dance. 

I’m sure as competitors, judges, and volunteers you stand beside me when I give thanks and acknowledgement to Chieftain Colin Forsyth. A Highland Dancer and instrumental player in the inaugural events it was a huge honour to have Colin as the 2023 Chieftain. Perhaps the greatest gift Colin gave us this year was the gift of reflection. Too often we compare this year’s event to last, but Colin gave us the opportunity to reflect back on the first events. That was a wonderful exercise and quite humbling to recall where this all started. We have come a long way together.

Special thanks to: The judges who traveled from all over New Zealand for our event and the local families who open their homes to host them. The 23 Clans who gathered in St Andrews Square and shared a moving Armistice Day remembrance at 11.11am. Our stallholders, entertainers, and suppliers; you all get into the spirit of the festival and wrap around our community to deliver the Games. To our fabulous MC’s who kept everyone informed and the day on track.

To our partners and funders, thank you for backing the Trust not just to make the Hororata Highland Games happen but to enable and support our community throughout the year.

Thank you Clan Hororata volunteers! From the committee and Trustees who plan the Games all year, to the 140 of you who showed up to help for the week-long set up, the 230 of you who joined the Clan on Saturday, and those who helped pack down on Sunday. Every one of you plays a vital role in this event. Our Clan’s contribution to the wellbeing of a wider community cannot be underestimated. Thank you all.

A huge vote of thanks to Event Manager Cindy Driscoll. Cindy is an outstanding leader and a visionary who has been instrumental in growing this event into the southern hemisphere’s greatest Highland Games. She ensures that everything runs smoothly and that the Games is a wonderful and memorable experience for everyone who attends whether that is to compete, to judge, to volunteer, or to watch.

Thank you to everyone who came to compete or to experience the Games, you are making a difference to our community.

See you all again next year on Saturday 9th November 2024! 

Ainsley Walter

Chair, Hororata Community Trust