‘Weel Kent Face’ contest runs out of steam

THE annual summer competition, ‘I’m a Weel Kent Face, Get Iz Oot O’ Here’, has been cancelled.

It has been announced this week that the town’s fitness contest – which for the past nine years has seen local characters compete in a series of tasks and gym challenges whilst battling for votes – will not be going ahead due to a lack of volunteers.

Hawick Summer Festival chairman Gerry Monaghan revealed: “The Weel Kent Face competition will be not be taking place this year. It is really unfortunate, but we only had two names come forward to definitely take part and because we didn’t have enough people in place for this week which had to be the cut-off before the contest was due to be launched next week, we’ve had no option but to take this decision.”

The event was started by Hawick Summer Festival back in 2004 in conjunction with the local gym Think Fitness, attracting 10 well-known people every year to compete against one another, previous contestants ranging from Jim Renwick and Madge Elliot, to Helen Ford and Davie Paterson.

And with weekly tasks ranging from salsa to mountain rescue – with a full update and photos every week in the Hawick News – it instantly proved a runaway hit, as Teries voted in their thousands for their favourite ‘faces’, year after year.

The competition ran for seven or eight weeks, before culminating in a voting frenzy and final held at the end of the Summer Festival programme, when the winner would be announced.

First won by Scocha musician David Chapman (Chappy), other locals who went to lift the ‘Weel Kent’ crown were Graeme Cockburn, Hazel Cameron, Bobby Froud, Nichola Borthwick, Amanda Nichol, Jamie Scott, Helen Knight and last year’s winner, Nadia Cranston.

Festival chairman Mr Monaghan, who will preside over his first summer celebration this year, commented: “It’s a shame that contest is not happening as a lot of hard work and effort has gone into it over the years, but we have a lot of new and exciting ideas on this year’s programme for people to look forward to.”

See next week’s Hawick News for the full story and details of this year’s new-look festival, which runs from August 17-25.