GAMES COUNTDOWN: Mystery signing recruited by Staffin’s all-conquering tug o’war team

FORGET about the countdown to the Games in Brazil…

There’s only one Games that counts.

And next week is showtime for the Staffin Ladies’ tug o’war team at the theatre of dreams itself – The Lump.

Fresh from their spectacular 2015 triumph the squad is preparing to go into battle once again at the Skye Highland Games and their rivals should beware. The Staffin women are currently in the midst of an arduous pre-games programme of intensive altitude training on the Trotternish Ridge, which has involved winning a practice pull (best of three) in torrential rain against the BFG, who was in the area.

It is understood that the team is fast approaching peak fitness with the ladies spending up to 12 hours a day in specially purchased oxygen chambers and have reaped the benefits of the new Staffin Gym’s tough Metafit classes. Speculation has also been rife on social media that the Taobh Sear ladies have supplemented their protein rich diet with thrice-daily servings of sgadan, gruel and special ‘Games pakora’ from MacKenzie Stores.

Speaking from the team’s training camp, at the foot of the Hill of Red Fox, Staffin captain Maggie Ross confirmed popular team anchor Kenina MacKenzie from Totescore would not be competing in Portree next Wednesday (3.8.16) after years of success at the arena. But Maggie said the team was in excellent physical condition and have swooped into the transfer market to make a mystery signing.

“We are without our dear Kenina MacKenzie this year who we will all miss but have instead a very strong lady who, in her line of work, can give her co-workers a run for their money,” said Ross, who remained tight-lipped at this morning’s press conference about the new recruit’s identity.

“The star weapon is our secret weapon, we don’t want to give too much away to our opponents. Suffice to say she is well thought of among those in the trade and hopefully she will be key to delivering us the trophy!”

The jubilant Staffin Ladies in 2015.

The jubilant Staffin Ladies in 2015 and coach James ‘Tornado’ MacDonald.

The team is hoping to follow last year’s run up to the Games and hone their match fitness through several practice pulls with the Staffin fire crew at the start of next week.

The Staffin Ladies are the island’s most decorated tug o’war team ever – having won 11 championships at The Lump in a row – but lost the crown between 2013 and 2014, as the Portree Bootcamp team took the silverware.

However, the Trotternish squad dramatically roared back last year to beat the Bootcampers in a tense showdown, inspired by the atmosphere created by the fervent Staffin supporters. Everybody in Staffin wishes the team well on Wednesday.