AFTER a successful event last year, Peebles Highland Games Association is looking to build on its popularity.

At the organisation’s AGM next week, chairman Chris Patterson hopes to welcome new members to the committee.

Other Highland Games committees around Scotland have faced issues attracting new faces, resulting in them disbanding.

That is something Mr Patterson doesn’t want to see happen in Peebles.

He said: “We had one of our most successful ever Highland Games in 2023 and so we have a great platform to build on this year.

“As is often the case, a few people have moved on or retired from the Committee recently and so we are very much in need of some new volunteers to get involved in the organisation of the Games.

“We recently heard that West Lothian Highland Games, based in Bathgate, which was also founded in 1972, has taken the difficult decision to fold due to dwindling committee numbers and rising running costs.

“Cupar Highland Games in Fife, which dates back to the 1880s, folded in January this year following an unsuccessful appeal for new volunteers and pipe band contests in Edinburgh and Dunbar have also been called off this year and so with the right support from the local community, Peebles Highland Games has an opportunity to become an even more prominent event on the annual calendar.

“Peebles Highland Games are in a relatively healthy financial position having managed this aspect of the event very carefully over the years but ideally we could do with an extra three or four committee members to help plan and run the event which regularly attracts up to 20 pipe bands, over 120 highland dancers and eight of the country’s strongest athletes.”

The association is hoping new members will bring a “new energy” to the committee.

Mr Patterson added: “We are always grateful for help on the weekend of the Games but we are also always on the lookout for people who can bring new energy and ideas to the committee.

“However, regardless of the skills you have to offer or the amount of time that you can commit, your help would be much appreciated.

“Our committee prides itself on making new members feel welcome and included in our activities so we would urge anyone who is interested in finding out more about the organisation of Peebles Highland Games to come along to the AGM.”

The Peebles Highland Games Association AGM will take place at the Cross Keys Hotel, Peebles, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, April 16.

For those unable to attend the meeting but are interested in learning more about the association can contact the committee’s secretary Don Graham on 07492853466 or chairman Chris Patterson on 07985522156, for more information.