Although Highland Games season is drawing to a close, we here at want to get to know some of the athletes who compete in the games each year. This month we have been in touch with Sinclair Patience, the 2009 World Amateur Highland Games Champion and 2010 Junior Scottish Champion who has gone on to represent Scotland at many Highland games throughout the world. We wanted to get to know a bit more about Sinclair and what it’s like to be one of the nation’s top Highland Games Athletes. Here’s what Sinclair had to say… Sinclair PatienceWhen you were a wee boy did you always want to compete in Highland Games? As a youngster, I traveled the Highland Games circuit with my dad George Patience. He competed for over 20 years as a heavyweight athlete and was both, professional Scottish and World Champion. This was long before the days of iPads and dvd players in cars so ‘I spy with my little eye’ was the travel game of choice! What is your favourite thing about competing in Highland Games? The competition, camaraderie and opportunities to travel. I have made friends all over the world through Highland Games. Which Games are your favourite and why? The Isle of Skye is one of my favourite Highland Games. It is held in an old quarry which creates a natural arena. There is always a great atmosphere there. Which element of the competition are you best and worst at and why?sinclair-patience2 My favourite events are the weights for distance. You basically use a rotational technique to throw a 14kg or 25kg weight, with one hand, as far as possible. This requires a combination of strength, speed and skill. If you lack in just one of these factors, the event becomes very difficult. My worst event at the moment tends to be the weight over the bar. This event is similar to the high jump although instead of throwing yourself, you have to throw a 25kg weight over the bar. You get three attempts at each height and if you fail all three you are out of the competition. At 6ft 2” I tend to be one of the shorter athletes on the Highland Games field so i could put that forward as an excuse, in reality though, i just need to work more on that particular event. Is the kilt compulsory kit or just part of the Highland theme? What tartan do you wear, is it a family tartan? A kilt is compulsory for competing in the Highland Games. As I don’t have a a ‘Patience’ tartan, I either wear Black Watch, Sinclair or California (a lightweight ‘sport kilt’ which I picked up while competing overseas) Are the Games growing or do we need to attract more young people to compete? There are steady numbers of young athletes coming up through the ranks, however, as with any sport these could do with a boost. What is your pre-competition breakfast or food? I always try to go with Scots porridge oats on the morning of a competition. They will keep you going right through until lunch time! Who is your hero/inspiration? My dad, George patience, competed for Scotland in the discus then won the professional World Highland Games Championship in 1994. He has always been the person I look up to for advice and support in the sport. What makes a great Highland Games athlete? A great highland games athlete needs a combination of dedication, strength, speed, technique. As there are 8 events to master, it takes time to be successful. sinclair-patience3What is the difference between Highland Games and Strongman or are there quite a lot of similarities/crossover of athletes between the two? They are totally different sports. I have seen many a strongman try and fail to throw far. Likewise, not too many throwers compete in strongman. Highland Games is also a drug tested sport, strongman is not. I quite fancy a go myself, how long would it take you to train me up? You would need to put in a good year of training prior to competing. Youtube is a great resource for learning and there is lots of content which will help you out if you are just starting the sport. Sinclair recently competed in the Halkirk Highland Games where he came seventh place in the competition over all and took first place in the 56lb weight for distance and second place in the 16lb hammer, an excellent achievement. We want to thank Sinclair for taking the time to talk to us and wish him all that best for next year's season.