Highlanders’ Hamilton Indoor games set to rumble

indoor_games_91An invasion of 2,000 strong will descend upon FirstOntario Centre, Feb. 20-21.

But it’s all in good fun.

The stage has been set for the 91st Highlanders Athletic Association’s Hamilton Indoor Games, one of the oldest indoor track meets in North America. The 89th edition of the competition will kick off with approximately 1,000 elementary school athletes chasing the McDonalds Team Trophy on Thursday. The following day, approximately the same number of secondary school athletes will “make the boards rumble” when they challenge for the Foot Tools Team Trophy. For many years the annual event was held in the former James Street Armoury which gave rise to the expression “make the boards rumble.” Competitions were done on wooden floors which vibrated during events.

The HIG is a series of indoor track and field meets for youth of all ages and abilities including novice, elite, elementary and high school athletes. Established in 1908 the Games are organized and hosted by the 91st Highlanders Athletic Association, a not-for-profit volunteer organization committed to developing the sport of track and field at the grassroots level and promoting the benefits of physical activity to youth.

Although the HIG caters to local schools in the Hamilton area, each year the event attracts many of the best elementary and high school track programs from across the province and a number of Canada’s top elite athletes also attend to compete in the Invitational Meet.

This year organizers have included a Sports Festival which will provide local sport organizations and recreation groups the opportunity to setup interactive demonstrations, distribute registration information and signup new members. The Sports Festival will include a Sports and Recreation Expo for exhibitors who provide products and services for young athletes and active families.

Numerous sports celebrities will also be stopping by the expo to sign autographs and to speak with children about the benefits of exercise.