Many of us have interesting hobbies that we enjoy when we are away from work. Casey O’Banion, a senior programmer/analyst with TCS, perhaps has one of the more unusual hobbies. Specifically, he is a member of an elite group of athletes that participate in the Scottish Highland Games.
The Highland Games are a traditional Scottish competition dating back to 1100 AD. These games included competitions featuring the bagpipes, the kilt, and events where heavy items like stones, weights, and cabers (long pieces of timber), were thrown for distance. The Highland Games were put on by kings and clan chiefs to find the strongest, fastest and most agile individuals in their territory. Often the winner would become a bodyguard, soldier or the king’s courier, a much coveted position. To reduce bloodshed during times of war, rival clans would match their champions against each other.
Casey’s involvement in the Highland Games began two years ago as a result of a friendship with his neighbor who was involved with a team called the Magni Corps Throwers, a local group of individuals who compete in a Northern California-chapter of the Scottish-based competitions. On the left, Casey (in kilt) can be seen lobbing a 28-lb. ball and chain for distance. Another one of his favorite events is the caber pole toss, where contestants throw a large object that resembles a telephone pole.
To reduce injury, all athletes are required to adhere to a rigorous exercise schedule and must stretch before competition. Like his job at TCS where he provides coding and design support for products like Acuity Advanced Care™, AcuPort Advanced™ and AcuStrat™, Casey notes, “Success is determined by leveraging both knowledge and experience to whatever activity that you are engaged in. Skill by itself is not enough; experience also plays an important role, and vice-versa. This bit of advice applies to both software development and at the Highland Game competitions.”
If you would like to learn more about Casey, his job at TCS or the Highland Games, drop him a line at (530) 886-1700 ext. 213.