Chapter

‘The Lusty Sports of “Caledonia, Stern and Wild”’: Caledonian Games in New Zealand<sup>*</sup>

Tanja Bueltmann

in Scottish Ethnicity and the Making of New Zealand Society, 1850-1930

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641550
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653553 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641550.003.0006
‘The Lusty Sports of “Caledonia, Stern and Wild”’: Caledonian Games in New Zealand*

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At the outset, Caledonian Games were ‘purely Scottish sports’ indeed, athletic feats being merged with the familiar tunes and dances ‘dear to the heart of Scotchmen’. First held in Scotland at St Fillans in 1819, the Games were soon exported by Scottish migrants, spreading quickly throughout North America, South Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia. In New Zealand, Caledonian Games emerged first as an enduring and popular sporting occasion for Scots and non-Scots alike. This chapter traces the Games’ evolution from within the Scottish community. Caledonian Games evidently served multiple roles within and outside of the Scottish community, particularly in the context of amateur and professional athletics, and these require scrutiny in unison. The endurance and success of Caledonian Games, in conjunction with the Caledonian societies that organised them, provide substantial further evidence of the deep and sustained connection between Scottish ethnic activities and New Zealand civic life.

Keywords: Caledonian Games; Scottish ethnic activities; Scottish community; civic life

Chapter.  13186 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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