Wednesday, 19 June 2013

GAMEKEEPERS' HIKE HELPS KIDS AND SOLDIERS

A team of 8 exhausted Inverness-shire gamekeepers have raised almost £8000 for soliders, youth and community projects in Scotland by walking 52 miles in 24 hours.The team ‘Highland Keepers’, comprising game and wildlife managers from around the Loch Ness area, completed the Cateran Yomp- a 52 mile non-stop hike- at the weekend.Yesterday they were counting their blisters and pledges, with the sums raised going towards ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Prince’s Trust and The Alliance Trust Staff Foundation.The group came together for the stomp through the Perthshire and Angus glens following a request by the boss of Culachy Estate, Fort Augustus.Culachy sponsors community youth projects like Shinty and keepers Scott Bremner and Raymond Robertson responded to the call, gathering together like-minded ‘yompers’.Culachy Estate paid for the team’s accommodation and travel and the group leaders were happy to see the finish line at 4.20am on Sunday morning.“We got a group of willing keepers together from the Strath, totally underestimated the challenge, and went for it,” smiled Scott Bremner (36), a committee member of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association, who finished in 21 hrs, 26 minutes.“Most of the guys are fit because of their jobs with deer stalking and grouse but, to do 52 miles in a day is a different story.“On some days we might cover 10 to 15 miles but with stops for spying deer and suchlike. But with this we never stopped at all, other than for a cup of tea.“The hardest part was probably walking through the darkness with the packs on, especially because most of that section was in woodland and you are carrying a lot of stuff.“When you see some of the injured soldiers that come back injured from Afghanistan, though, we certainly have no cause to grumble over a few blisters and sore feet.“We are really glad to have done it and to have raised the amount we have.”Scott, Raymond and their fellow yompers, Norman Stoddart, Andrew Reid, Derek Brown, Malcolm Downie, Jonathan Carslaw and Allan MacDiarmid would like to thank all donors who helped them.The fund was swelled by a donation of £250 from The Scottish Gamekeepers Association.