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~ In Memoriam ~
William Kay Cummings Sr.
A Personal Tribute to Kay.
Growing up in New England, if you had told me that a logger from
central Georgia would become one of the more influential people in my
life, I would not have believed you.
I met Kay Cummings in 2001 during a throwers clinic in Ocala FL. I am
positive he made fun of my last name that day. Something he would
continue until the last time we spoke more than a decade later. I
didn't know it that first day, but I was meeting a man that would help
shape the rest of my life.
With the support and guidance of Kay and Susan, the Highland Games has
grown into a major part of who I am. Friends I have made, trips I have
taken, experiences I have had, and stories I have heard are all due to
my involvement in the games. I have grown as a participant in the games
in so many ways, and much of that is due to the influence of the
The best part about my story, is that is it a very common one. It would
be difficult to find a highland games participant, particularly in the
South, that has not been directly affected by the devotion Kay had to
Kay was a tremendous competitor of the highland games. His devotion to
the growth of amateur Scottish athletics was fierce. Kay created the
Southeastern Scottish Amateur Athletic Association in large part to
champion his cause for the development and growth of amateur heavy
athletics in the US. Athletes worldwide have participated in SSAAA
games and clinics. Many throwers have spent time at the Cummings home
seeking to make themselves better throwers. Many of the perks that
amateur Scottish athletes take for granted are things that Kay had
fought for, and continued to fight for in his final days.
The signature games of the SSAAA have become the upper echelon for
amateur competitions. Invitations to the North/South and USA/Scotland
games are cherished rewards for amateur Scottish athletes, and
milestones for throwers seeking to rise to the professional ranks.
With Kay's passing, the games have lost a true champion in all aspects
of the word. However, Kay's legacy will live on through the association
he created, the competitions he helped mold, the friendships that were
made though his influence, and through his wonderful family. I am
eternally grateful for knowing him.
Kay was a great friend, mentor, and teacher. Thank you Kay.
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