Drummer aims to beat rivals

By Lin Ferguson

Finlay Benton is playing to win tomorrow.

The 16-year-old side drummer will compete at the 149th Turakina Highland Games as a member of the Manawatu Scottish Society's No2 band.

His drumming has paid off - the Year 13 Wanganui City College student was selected late last year for the New Zealand Foundation Youth Band who are off to Canada in 2014.

"I had to send in a video of me playing my side drum."

And getting the news that he'd been selected was fantastic, he said. "So I've got to do some serious saving this year."

He'll be working after school and weekends pumping petrol. Finlay, who lives in Turakina, near the domain where the games will be held, said he'd been at the games every year for practically his whole life.

"Well, for as long as I can remember."

This year his mum, Debbie Benton, is one of the organisers.

"And it's going to be so fabulous," she said.

The games feature Highland dancing competitions, solo-piping and solo-drumming competitions, with 15 North Island bands entered in the pipe-bands competition.

In the field are events such as tossing the caber, tossing the sheaf and the tug o' war.

Dotted around the large domain would be food stalls and clan stalls, she said.

For the stalwarts, the Scottish party goes on into the evening with a band, Kontiki Tangle, featuring piper Brendan Eade and his sister Kirsten - a flautist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The games start at 9am. Entry is $10, with under 15-year-olds free.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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