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Sponsorship sees Scottish Coal Carrying Championship return to Fife after five-year hiatus

coal race fife

The Scottish Coal Carrying Championship is making a return to Fife at the end of August after a new sponsor came on board.

Due to a lack of sponsorship followed by the coronavirus pandemic, the event was cancelled five years in a row.

However, the championship has now gained backing from the National Pride UK Community Interest Company.

It means the coal race is back on for 2021, with former prime minister Gordon Brown presenting prizes to winners.

The event on Saturday August 28 features races for men, women and children, as well as entertainment.

Coal mining heritage

The annual event was set up by Michael Boyle, and first took place in 1995.

Mr Boyle hoped to create an enduring link between the modern-day village and its rich coal mining heritage.

He said: “As one of only two coal races in the world, it’s great to see the event going again this year and we would like to thank National Pride UK for its invaluable sponsorship.

“Kelty is a village that was built on coal and there are few people who live here whose life and family have not been touched by the coal industry.

“As the years go on, it can be difficult to maintain the heritage links of a village to its core roots, so I am thrilled to continue the tradition in 2021.”

fife coal race
Participants carry heavy bags of coal along the 1km route.

The men’s race requires participants to carry a 50-kilo bag of coal and the women’s race a 25-kilo bag of coal.

Contestants carry their load for more than 1km through the village of Kelty.

There will also be races for children carrying a 15-kilo bag of coal.

Entries for the adult race close at midday on Tuesday August 17, with limited spaces available.

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