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Highland Games Founder

Every Highland Games athlete has to start somewhere. For Erin Roberts, her first events as a newbie to the throwing scene in Seattle were memorable not only for the competition, but for the warm welcome she received from the heavy athletics community. “All I needed was my Sport Kilt, a love for the culture, and a big smile,” Erin recalls.

Her experience was notably different when she returned to her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. There, she encountered a catch-22 of sorts (or a throw-22): female throwers needed experience to compete, but there weren’t any local events for beginners to get that experience.

So Erin did the bravest thing she could think of: she started her own. The inaugural National Capital Highland Games opened in 2019 with half of its 48 heavy athletics athletes competing for the first time. Erin recruited adventurous women from her CrossFit gym to add new, female energy to her favorite sport, and was rewarded with a 10 year commitment to her games by the event’s host organization.

These Games represent the culmination of a dream to fill the experience gap, grow local talent, and promote women in the sport. Ironically, Erin ethically doesn’t compete in her own Games, but, she says, “the reward of seeing new female athletes try this sport and love it feels like a first place win to me!”

Erin still competes in other Highland Games across Canada and the U.S., wearing her Sport Kilt every time. She’s always been more comfortable in a kilt anyway, having grown up competing in Highland Dance events for 15 years. 

“I wear my ‘Loud MacLeod’ when I’m feeling sassy and want to be noticed. I also have my sporran to keep my personal items handy – so much better than a purse,” she says. “I know my kilts and I’m very happy to endorse the Sport Kilt quality, style and price!”

Another fun bit of trivia about Erin: she’s our first Ambassador to also be a former winner of a Sport Kilt photo contest. Follow Erin’s journey as she leads the charge for new throwers everywhere at @kiltedathlete.

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