The Lakehill Tug of War club competing at the recent British and Irish championships in Coleraine with Rossinver's Enda Gilligan pulling in front
Pullers from the Sligo based Lakehill team and the Leitrim based G&B (Gortletteragh and Ballygar) team will be representing Ireland at the European Tug of War championships taking place at Breaffy House, Castlebar from September 5-8
This is the first time for the European outdoor Tug of War championships to be held in Ireland since Wexford in 1987 and will bring over 1000 athletes to Castlebar with many more spectators attending. Approximately 20 countries will compete in the 2019 European Senior and World U23 and Junior Outdoor Tug Of War Championships.
The Lakehill club have their team-training base in Rathgran near Coolaney with Enda Gilligan from Rossinver playing a very important role in the team. Enda has a very successful history in the sport of Tug of War winning many national titles and medals at World and European level.
The G&B team have been back-boned by Gortletteragh brothers Frank & Chris Egan for many years and are currently the best club in the country having won all five of the national championship weight categories that they entered.
There is a great level of dedication involved in Tug of War at this level with teams training two or three times per week as a team with individual programs on other days. The key to the sport is teamwork and stamina. Teams aim to get their strongest pullers into the various weight categories with a big emphasis on getting to as light a weight as possible while maintaining physical strength.
The championship kicks off on Thursday with the men’s open club 680kg competition. Pullers will weigh-in on Wednesday and will be recovering and getting fluids on board after many hours in a sauna in some cases.
The open club competitions take place over the first two days with the International competitions taking place on Saturday and Sunday.
Members of the B&G team will be pulling on Irish teams in 560kg and 680kg on the Saturday and 640kg on the Sunday.
The championship in Castlebar will be a colourful international spectacle with the Irish lads competing against the World’s best teams in Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany among others. Ireland have always competed strongly at International level over the past 25 years regularly ranked in the top four with the last World championship gold medal coming in Switzerland in 2012.
The Irish Tug of War association would like to encourage the public to come along to support the championships and the Irish teams. Please visit www.irishtugofwar.com for further information.