Offwell set to host international athletes in tug of war competition

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:15 15 June 2017

Tug of War teams will be competing at Offwell. Pictured is the Haldon team.

Tug of War teams will be competing at Offwell. Pictured is the Haldon team.


Tug of war teams from all over England will be taking part in the National Outdoor Tug of War Championships at Offwell Recreation Ground this weekend.

Tug of War teams will be competing at Offwell. Pictured is the Haldon team. Tug of War teams will be competing at Offwell. Pictured is the Haldon team.

The event will see teams competing for the gold, silver and bronze medals in men’s weight categories and ladies weight categories, and junior on Saturday, June 17.

There will also be a mixed gender weight class up for grabs, with teams consisting of four men and four ladies each.

The event is being organised by the English Tug of War Association (TOWA), the Offwell Recreation Ground and Village Hall Charity, and local organiser and competitor Damien Richards, who is a member of the Somerset-based Felton Eccles team.

Each tug of war team will consist of eight pullers, competing in different weight classes, with teams weighing in the night before the event. Each team is not allowed to exceed the weight limit for each weight class.

The winning teams from the different weight classes that are held at the national championships will go on to represent England at the European Tug of War Championships, which this year England is hosting in Southport, Merseyside in September

Amongst the teams competing will be Norton Tug of War Club from Staffordshire, who won five weight of the classes on offer at the 2016 National Championships.

Local interest in the event will come from Devonshire tug of war clubs including Anstey and Haldon. The Haldon Ladies team last year came away with two bronze medals at the 2016 National Tug of War Championships in the ladies 520kg and 560kg competitions and have high hopes of further success again in the ladies competitions, which may see them earn the chance to represent England on home soil at the European Championships in September.

Alan Knott , TOWA spokesman, said: “We are very much looking forward to the national tug of war championships in Offwell this year.”

“We will have teams that have won World and European Championship medals taking part at the event, which should make for a very exciting championship. English teams boast a proud record at international tug of war, with England having won many gold, silver and bronze medals over the past 50 years”

“The European outdoor tug of war championships take place in Southport, Merseyside in September, so this event will be used to select the teams that represent England at the European Championships, so local people will get to see international athletes taking part, and may also get to see a Devonshire team qualify to represent England if they get the results, which should help to make this event even more exciting”

“The Tug of War Sport used to be organised by the Amateur Athletic Association in the early 1900s, but it was 1958 when The Tug of War Association was formed to organise the sport independently”.

The sport was formerly a part of the Olympic programme until 1920, but was phased out along with other sports, such as cricket and rugby to reduce the number of competitors at the Olympics at that time. Great Britain are still the reigning Olympic champions at tug of war from those games held in 1920.

“Tug of war is a true team sport. The ethics or determination, hard work, sportsmanship, and friendship are unrivalled in any other sport. We hope that people come along to watch the tug of war championship at Offwell Recreation Ground to give all of our tug of war teams as much support as possible. We are sure that there are many in the area that will come out and support the Devonshire teams taking part”.

The championships on Saturday, June 17, start at 10am and will run throughout the day. Entrance to the event is free for spectators and there will be a range of family activities available at the event as well, along with hot and cold refreshments.

For further information about the sport of tug of war, people are encouraged to visit the Tug of War Association web site at or you can follow The Tug of War Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the handle @englandtugofwar.

Schedule of Events:

The competition schedule is as follows (all timings are approximate start times):

10am - Men 640 kilos competition

11.30am - Men 560 kilos competition; Men catchweight (no weight limit) competition and Ladies 560 kilos competition

1pm - Men 720 kilos competition; Ladies 520 kilos competition

2pm - Men 600 kilos competition

3.30pm - Men 680 kilos competition

5pm - Mixed 600 kilos competition

Tug of War Clubs competing:

Lincoln Tug of War Club (Lincolnshire)

Norton Tug of War Club (Staffordshire)

Bosley Tug of War Club (Cheshire)

Holland Tug of War Club (Staffordshire)

Two Dales Tug of War Club (Derbyshire)

Anstey Tug of War Club (Devon)

York Tug of War Club (Yorkshire)

Felton Eccles Tug of War Club (Somerset)

Sandhurst Tug of War Club (Berkshire)

Oxney Vines Cross Tug of War Club (Sussex)

Team Army

Team ACF Tug of War Club

Haldon Tug of War Club (Devon)

Kilroe Tug of War Club (Lancashire)

Thames Valley Tug of War Club (Berkshire)

St Pats Tug of War Club (Leicester)

Upper Eden Tug of War Club (Cumbria)

West Dorset Tug of War Club (Dorset)

Who are the defending champions? - 2016 National Outdoor Tug of War Championships - results Summary:

Men 560 kilos - Gold - Norton (Staffordshire) - Silver – Sandhurst (Berkshire) - Bronze - Bosley (Cheshire) - 4th - Felton Eccles (Somerset).

Men 600 kilos - Gold - Norton (Staffordshire) - Silver - Felton Eccles (Somerset) - Bronze - Two Dales (Derbyshire) - 4th – Bosley (Cheshire).

Men 640 kilos - Gold - Norton (Staffordshire) - Silver – Lincoln (Lincolnshire) - Bronze – Two Dales (Derbyshire) - 4th - Felton Eccles (Somerset).

Men 680 kilos - Gold - Norton (Staffordshire) - Silver – Two Dales (Derbyshire) - Bronze - Lincoln (Lincolnshire) - 4th - Felton Eccles (Somerset).

Men 720 kilos - Gold - Norton (Staffordshire) - Silver - Oxney Vines Cross (Sussex) - Bronze - Lincoln (Lincolnshire) - 4th - Holland (Staffordshire).

Men Catchweight - Gold – Holland (Staffordshire) - Silver - Oxney Vines Cross (Sussex) - Bronze - Haldon (Devon).

Ladies 560 kilos - Gold - Kilroe Ladies (Lancashire) - Silver - Bedford Ladies (Staffordshire) - Bronze - Haldon Ladies (Devon) - 4th - Holland Ladies (Staffordshire).

Ladies 520 kilos - Gold - Bedford Ladies (Bedfordshire) - Silver - Team Army Ladies - Bronze - Haldon Ladies (Devon) - 4th - Kilroe Ladies (Lancashire).

Mixed 600 Kilos - Gold – Norton (Staffordshire) - Silver – Lincoln (Lincolnshire) - Bronze - Bedford (Bedfordshire) - 4th - Two Dales (Derbyshire).

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