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Tocati – You Try, Verona Italy


I was invited to take part in the annual Festival of Traditional Games in 2008. We suggested that we go over a day early to do some work with schools. This was agreed and we found ourselves teaching children Scotland's Traditional Games on our first day.


Some of the team of student teachers who made it possible to have 500 primary school chidren take part in a series of games which combined traditional with new.


Over thirty student teachers organised the event along the river and five hundred school children passed along from activity to activity based on peever beds and girds. We could not have achieved this without the hard work and support of the students. The games were set out in English to help the children learn the language. To the student teachers we say - thank you! Your's was a magnificent contribution to our part of Tocati.

Annie with pupil before setting him off to run with his gird on his own.


On the Saturday and Sunday we shared the games with the passing public as they ebbed and flowed through the Piazza. Many children took part as did many adults some as old as war veterans. We learned that many of our traditional games were the same as or similar to those of Italians. The gird for example was a popular running toy in Italy before the Second World War.


This gentleman from Verona ran with a gird when he was a boy.


We were supported by yet another team of volunteers who looked after us well. They taught the games along side us. They chaperoned us to and from the catering station. They were lovely people and they were and some still are good friends to us. Another thank you for your support and dedicated work.

Our wonderful volunteers who looked after us and helped present the games.


Annie has chosen some pictures to illustrate the experience we enjoyed and if any of our friends in Verona see this please get in touch … especially if you are planning to visit Scotland as we would be happy to see you again! Tocati – Verona 2008.

The gird or hoop is a traditional toy of many countries across the word. Grandad shows how it is done.



One hundred and fifty people from Scotland took part in the festival including a pipe band, highland dancers, traditional backhold wrestlers, people of Jedburgh playing their local game of “the ba”, highland games athletes (tossing the caber and so on).

Girds for sale at the Information Points. By the time the event was over we saw and heard children running through the streets with thier girds!


The organisers expected 200,000 people to visit the festival over the three days and we believe this was exceeded.

For more information go to


More Pictures



 Wullie Baxter, Chieftain of the Scottish particpants, wrestles with the great bagpipes tae gie us a blaw(to give us a blow on the pipes).



Volunteers enjoy a wee workshop on Scotland's traditional games.



One of many imaginative beds created by the Student Teachers using English to aid the English of the pupils.




Not part of the childrens games programme. However we found Tug of War taking place on a main street in Verona as part of the Scottish programme.



Some of the children and their teachers who took part in the schools programme of traditional games in Verona in 2008. This was a great way for the children to have a taster of new and traditional games.



And finally, our friend, Nicola Patria of Verona who plays the Highland Bagpipes keeping the tradition alive!