“Gallus Games” would crown Scotland’s best jeely piece catcher


COMPETITORS could battle it out in traditional Glaswegian pursuits like catching jeely pieces in the city’s first Gallus Games.

Organisers hope to showcase the events in the run up to the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The project, designed to give ordinary Scots a chance a sporting glory, has received a £10,000 lottery grant for a feasibility study.

The competition would take place in a specially-designed stadium


The alternative sporting competition, may also host events such as Best Spray Tan, Best Pizza Throwing, Best Skateboarding, Best Excuse for Not Writing an Essay, Best Story-telling and Best Dry Synchronised swimming.

The Gallus Games, named after a local word for bold or reckless, could also crown Scotland’s best jeely piece catcher.

Adam McNaughton’s Jeeley-Piece Song immortalised the practice of mothers throwing jam sandwiches from upper-storey tenement windows to hungry children below.

Kathy Friend, a photographer and artist who came up with the idea, said: “When it was announced that Glasgow had won the bid and that everyone would be involved I thought ‘Mmm… well I don’t want to watch people jumping around doing all sorts of sports.

“Not everyone is interested in sport, although there are good things in it.



“And there is ‘excellence’ out there, but not as we know it.

“I wanted to capture the cheekiness of Glasgwegians, that gallusness. But there’s a serious purpose too.

“It’s a way of boosting self-confidence and reaching people who aren’t really into sport.

“It will also help local businesses and encourage entrepreneurial skills.”

She continued: “We will create games from the public response, working with schools , businesses, cultural organisations, sports and leisure groups to identify their skills and set up challenge matches around Scotland, with the finals in Glasgow.

“I want participants to experience the excitement of taking part in a major sporting event.”

The Games are planned to take place in the 1,000-seat Gallus HQ, a temporary stadium made from recycled materials, and will have volunteer adjudicators.



She added: “We will not be allowed to use real stadia for security reasons, so we want to build a temporary, eco-stadium from recycled materials and hold our Finals in it.”

The “most gallus” competitor will receive a gold medal.

Supporters of the plan include Professor Stuart MacDonald of Robert Gordon University, who said: “Being ‘gallus’ is embedded in Glaswegian DNA.

“People are attracted to the city and it is that ‘in your face’ humour which separates it from other cities.

“The Gallus Games are a brilliant way of achieving a legacy by both engagement and embedding because every ordinary person can be involved.

“They could nurture a whole new range of talents and enhance the main games.

“Everyone from kids to lawyers could take part in things like pitch-and-toss to fly fishing.”




Retail expert Andrew Turnbull said the Gallus Games were the sort of marketing opportunity which people would “sit up and notice.”

He said: “It’s a very clever idea – running with the times, but acknowledging Glasgow’s heritage.

“Like the London Olympics, these things can have a snowball effect.

“It is astute in capitalising on the fact that the Olympic Games have just been and the Commonwealth Games are on the horizon.

“It is also very clever branding.”