A Perth & Kinross councillor bungee jumped 40 metres from a bridge yesterday (Friday Aug 10th) to highlight the region’s credentials as ‘Scotland’s adventure sports ‘capital’.
Bob Ellis, Chair of the Perth & Kinross Sports and Active Recreation Forum, took the plunge from the Highland Fling Bungee platform at Garry Bridge, Killicrankie – the UK’s first static bungee jump platform.
His leap into the Killicrankie Pass abyss fulfilled a long-held personal ambition. Councillor Ellis also wanted to carry out the feat to underline the huge variety of adventure sports now available in Perth and Kinross.
The councillor dived towards the River Garry at a speed of 50 mph, joining almost 6,000 adventure sport enthusiasts from five continents who have jumped from the platform since its opening in May 2011.
Councillor Ellis, still flushed with adrenaline, said: “I’d been thinking about doing the jump from Garry Bridge for a while now. I went up there a few times to have a look, and finally made a decision that I would take the plunge. Now that I’ve done it, I would certainly do it again. Once I was off the edge I just thought, ‘wow, this is fantastic.’
“I am looking forward to seeing the photographs to see if the jump was a ‘10’, by Olympic standards, or maybe a ‘2’. I think I must have been the first Scottish councillor ever to take part this kind of bungee jump.
“One of the reasons I wanted to do the jump was to draw attention to the fantastic range of adventure activities people can now enjoy here in Perth and Kinross. People often think of Lochaber and Fort William as the place to go for adventure sports, but Perth and Kinross is now equal to those places if not even better.
“In Perth and Kinross you can participate in canoeing, climbing, gorge walking, kayaking, mountain biking, and open water river swimming – as well as bungee jumping – all in the midst of some of the most spectacular scenery and landscapes in Europe. We have activities that people of all ages can take part in – from young children to senior citizens.
“All this is in addition to the more traditional pursuits such as hill walking and cycling, which Perth and Kinross also specialises in.
“We are fast becoming the UK’s top destination for adventure sports and outdoor activities, and I wanted to prove that by jumping off the Garry Bridge attached to a bit of elastic. It’s all part of the job!”
Highland Fling Bungee Director John Mason-Strang said: “We were delighted to have Councillor Ellis jump with us here and we are delighted he enjoyed it.
“We’ve had participants from all over the world and from all ages and levels of experience. Our youngest jumper was 14 and we recently had Scotland’s oldest at 80! Until today, we hadn’t had any local government officials so this is a first.”
Fellow Perth and Kinross Counciillor Mike Williamson also decided to take the plunge, following immediately after Councillor Ellis. “It was fantastic. The view the platform was amazing. It was certainly a different way to see it,” he said.
A special Adventure Festival that will allow people to try out adventure sports in the beautiful surroundings of Highland Perthshire is set to take place shortly.
The event, organised by Perth & Kinross Council’s Outdoor Education Team, will give people a taste of sports such as gorge walking, canoeing, climbing and open water swimming over the weekend of Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August.
The festival runs from 8.30am to 5.30pm on Saturday 25th and 8.30am to 1pm on Sunday 26th. No prior experience is necessary – qualified, experienced instructors will lead the weekend and all transport and technical equipment is provided.
The Adventure Festival is suitable for adults and families with children aged eight years and upwards. Each session costs £15 per adult, £12.50 per child or young person under 18 years old, or £50 for a family group of two adults and two children. Charges for the full weekend are £40 per adult, £30 per child and £100 for a family of two adults and two children.
For further information, or to book your place, please contact the Outdoor Education Team on 01738 472236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org