About Texas Women's Highland Games

Our Purpose:

To increase awareness and involvement of women in the sport of the Highland Games. Promoting a fun, active, family friendly and competitive sport by providing information and resources to all those interested in joining us in our continuing adventures!

Please see our FAQ page for all those burning questions you have about how you participate, what to do, who to talk to and where to go!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Long Road to "Only Six"

“Only six women in this February’s Kick Off Games, huh?” This phrase or something very like it was said in all innocence to me recently. After my surprise passed it occurred to me that it was a good thing that one of our new throwers saw that as a smaller women’s class. The assumption of “Only Six” is a clear indicator that Texas games have a healthy number of women throwers these days.
The key to that last sentence is contained in the final pair of words “these days”, this was not always the case. Let us use the WABAC machine and go back to 2008. This was the year I began traveling to more games, mostly within Texas. To my surprise I discovered a distinct dearth of female throwers, and several contests that simply didn't have a women's class at all. *blink blink* Checking my calendar for a year stamp I was simply astonished to find that no, I hadn't fallen through a time slip and wound up back in the 50s, these guys really didn't think women wanted to play.  Frustrated to find festivals within driving distance that did not allow me the chance to compete I researched alternative locations that threw on the same weekend to attend the next season. Stubborn can be a virtue where I come from. 
It get's better, y'all.
A little birdie informed me that women's classes had been referred to as "Bad Product" and unreliable. Something along the lines of we would show up once or twice and then just disappear. Meaning the ADs would have a class of 4-5 one year and none the next, so they couldn't plan or budget accordingly. Fair enough, I can see the business side of that. With the idea of proving I was serious in mind I took my show on the road - Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Louisiana in 2009. Took all my own gear, came early, stayed late, judged, shagged weights, pulled tape, shook hands, talked up the crowd, threw as the only woman on the field and kept improving my game. The next year was more of the same 14 games and 5 states, including the Big Show at Pleasanton. No one could say I wasn't serious about my game, and the folks that called me bad product before started asking me for help on recruiting more women. 
For the last two years I have maintained 13-14 games a season, with at least one new state a year. Lots of thank you letters have been written. Numerous training trips to folks that know better than me how to get this done. Continuous outreach to the female strength community locally and on line via blogs, NASGA, Facebook and direct email has yielded numerous new throwers . Taking time to explore other strength sports, venues and festivals to find new converts and new avenues to display our sport has been rewarding as well. One on one coaching with the folks that express even an inkling of interest in the games has also buffed up our ranks. The unending support of my local crew with North Texas Heavies and TCAA has helped tremendously. (also have to make a nod to Mike Baab here)
The road from "bad product" to "only six" has been an uphill rough climb. It was worth every blow to the ego, busted callus and torn kilt, because no other woman is going to run into that same barrier in my home state. 

North Texas Kick Off Games

Saturday saw thirty athletes start the highland games season under the Texas sun at the North Texas Kick Off Games in Fort Worth. The Texas Celtic Athletic Association crew, of which I am a proud member, started the day off bright and early at 7:30AM with set up and breakfast goodies. By 9:30 the field was ready for all four flights of throwers.

It was a day full of firsts for the TCAA. We hosted our first Pro Class. Mike Dickens and Spencer Tyler debuted with NTKO as their first Pro Games. In addition to growing the field of throwers, we also wrangled our first round of vendors. In the future we are hoping to expand our events in that vein as well.

Field records for our February games went down all over the field. All the Pro best will be our new field records for future Pro Classes. Bob Kneip snagged the Master’s Class Open Stone field record by over two feet with a toss of 38’7.5”.Cleaning up four new field records in the Women’s Class was Mona “The Mastodon”Malec , with open stone, light hammer, heavy hammer and weight over bar. Ladies, watch out she will take down the Master’s Women’s WOB with 28 this year, she was kissing 16’2” this past weekend, that record won’t stand long.

Three of our four classes were wrapped up and enjoying sponsor provided beer from Rhar Brewery by 3PM. This gave them all a chance to sit and enjoy watching Isaac Burchett chase his own brand new world record in sheaf, another record that won’t stand much longer if he keeps at it. Our men’s open class sported a total of 16 throwers, and still managed to finish all throws with enough daylight left for them to enjoy some down time while we packed away the gear.

As you are likely aware, the highland games community has been given the opportunity to help out one of our very special fans, Duncan Lawrence. The folks at North Texas Kick Off were able to raise another nice chunk of change for his March Of Dimes fund raiser, and will be sending those funds over shortly to help him help others. For those that haven’t yet heard his story check out his video -
http://vimeo.com/59775346and his site http://www.marchforbabies.org/personal_page.asp?pp=4675054&ct=4&w=5932108&u=SupportDuncan

Thanks so much to all who attended. Y’all
come back now, ya hear?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


This weekend is the first Texas Games of the 2013 season (I think?), and I’m excited.   Miss B is going to be judging and running the games as part of the North Texas Heavies Group (www.facebook.com/northtexasheavies). 

I, however, will be enjoying the day throwing my little heart out and messing around with the great women throwers that are going to be there. Lots of fun people have signed up.

Date: Saturday, Feb 23, 2013
Time – Throwing starts at 9:00 am and should run all day until 3 – 4pm (aprox.)
Location: Ft. Worth Zoo, 1989 Colonial Pkwy,  Fort Worth, TX 76109

This is a great venue, lots of shade trees, lions roaring in the background, and the people just can't be beat.  I'm really looking forward to it.  If you are in the area and need a fun afternoon activity, bring yourself and your family down for a bit.