5th Jul 2020
A Message from Ken McCaffrey, Honorary Life Chairman, Alva Games Committee
At this time each year, I put pen to paper to welcome our Patrons and Sponsors and competitors and spectators from near and far to our annual spectacular at the foot of the Ochil Hills. This year is going to be just a little bit different.
For the first time in peacetime, there will be no Famous Alva Games on the second Saturday in July. The Covid 19 crisis which has engulfed the whole world has caused the cancellation of the event along with every other Highland and Border Games in Scotland, a total of over 70 gatherings. None of us could have known at the AGM last October that our lives were about to be changed in the way in which they have, with our whole daily routine being upended and social life coming very abruptly to an end.
We had begun our preparations for the 164th Games well before the introduction of the lockdown restrictions, but it became apparent, quite quickly, that the prospects of holding the Games in their traditional format was a non-starter. To those Sponsors who had responded quickly and positively to our annual call for support, the Games Committee extends its thanks as also for the unwavering loyalty of those around the town who assist us in a number of ways. Even now, with some relaxation of the restrictions previously enacted, it has proven to be the correct and unavoidable decision.
The loss of Games Week will be a blow to the thousands of you who look forward to it each July, but you can all be assured that we are doing all that we can to bring them back in 2021, refreshed and reinvigorated, and with a sharper sense of purpose than ever before.
Many of us will have experienced the consequences of this virus at first hand and, to those who have lost loved ones during this period, we extend our condolences. The signs remain positive though and, even as I write this, further relaxations are on the horizon, assuring us all of a return, albeit a slow and measured one, to a more recognisable way of life. I would also like to thank Chairman, Jamie Sharp, Treasurer, John Glencross, Secretary Craig Dunbar and the whole Committee for all the work that is and has been going on behind the scenes to prepare for this year and, more importantly, the 2021 Games.
Although there will be an eerie stillness in the Johnstone Park this week, the spirit of the Games will be present – and will survive. The whole of the park will serve as the focal point of the Alva summer holidays in 2021 and for many years to come and, although we can not meet up on Saturday, I look forward with enthusiasm to doing so on Saturday 10th July 2021 for the adjourned 164th Games.