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Clinics, Competitions, & Pennsylvania League

Give your PE and morale a boost with something different, exciting, and historic. You can choose from a singular event with a small group and a caber, an internal competition between floors/wings (see below as example), and/or entrance into the Pennsylvania Confined Heavies League (PCHL), with bi-annual competitions and a travelling trophy which could live and be defended in your resistance suite.  We also offer personal training, and a chance for prisoners to work together toward a common goal (i.e. being the best in PA). I'm eager to meet and discuss further.  


​ For this project, I've  taken some direction from The Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice sector wide Theory of Change – a vision for how sport can work together with the development and criminal justice to achieve maximum impact.   

The Package Includes:
  • Classrooom setting history sessions about the Highland Games delivered to the participants by a published scholar on the subject (me). 

  • Thorough safety meetings (in the field) 15 minutes.  

  • 1hr 45min throwing sessions for each floor-team.  I would suggest a training in the morning slot and scored attempts in the afternoon.  We would stagger these so no team throws twice on same day.

  • I will outfit teams in novelty kilts during the throwing sessions for fun and great photos.

  • Group and action photos for public relations optics.

  • Registration with the Pennsylvania Confined Heavies League (PCHL), currently under development.

  • A meeting with PE staff to discuss bespoke training routines and infrastructure for the events.

  • Delivery of Olympic lifting training session.   

  • 1hr sessions during recreation time over the course of the first day in conjunction with the throwing clinics.  This is of course optional for the initial launch, but would greatly enhance further development.

  • A plan shared with PE staff to enable athletes to keep training throughout the year.

  • Debriefing with staff and collection of feedback from participants for publications and pursuit of funding for future engagements. 


As mentioned, this concept and outcomes aligns with the core principles of the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice Sector-Wide Theory of Change, In this section, I explain how this concept and "The document, drawn up by industry experts, establishes guidelines for building a solid national base of evidence to prove sport’s effectiveness at preventing criminal behaviour and rehabilitating offenders. It also sets out guidelines for how the impact of sport projects should be measured across five key performance indicators – in line with Government’s ‘Strategy for Sport' These KPI's are as follows:

Physical and Mental Wellbeing 
Individual Development 
Education and Training 
Community and Social Development

Below you will read specifically how our project alligns with these KPI's:


The valuable structure of this project creates many avenues of engagement.  Participants engage with a former University Lecturer in Sport, a personal trainer, and with one-another as they strive on and off the field to win and keep possession of the travelling League trophy.  Of course the simpler immediate reward for engagement may be a special dinner for the winning team, or whatever creative ideas you may have.

Physical and Mental Wellbeing:

It is well understood that this is enhanced through athletic training and movement.  The nature of the Heavy Events is to throw heavy objects.  Although the implements are adapted to physical ability (various classes), it is meant to be physically challenging to strength, balance, will, and general concentration.  It has also been proven that such activities can promote a sense of well-being and camaraderie.  When used for team-building, it has shown to promote institutional pride.

Individual Development: 

Even though this is a team event, scores are individual.  This means there will be high-scores among floors, institution, and in the wider Pennsylvania League.  Through Olympic lifting, individuals can strive toward the leader board, giving them a new skill to work on in the months leading up to competition.  It could be quite an honorable thing to be the best at an event on one's floor, within in the institution, or even in all of PA's facilities.  Individual pride related to improvement should be another positive result.

Education and Training:

This sport is steeped in history.  Participants will learn a bit about this history and then feel closer to it through actively replicating the exact actions of the past.  They will also be reminded that they themselves are making history through participation in this project.  The associated skills learned in the weight room are not to be overlooked.

Community and Social Development:

The activities have themselves become iconic in the wider tribal celebrations of Highland Games all over the world.  Participants join this celebration, bringing the "outside" Scottish culture closer to them.  Upon release, the likelihood of them attending or competing in Highland Games should be greatly enhanced.  This is good for the community as well as the participant as it will lead to immediate socio-cultural immersion. Residual appreciation of the Games and Heavy Events may also  increase among loved ones who support them, feeding the PA tourism industry and community enterprise.

I would be remiss in not mentioning FUN among the positive outcomes. The scored events could include weight over bar, stone put, weight for distance, throwing the caber (space permitting) 

I am very keen to visit your facility and attend any future meetings. Looking forward to further action!

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