The World Championships of Indoor Tug of War are to be held in Ireland in 2014. With this in mind, it is important to bring to light the prominence of Tug of War in Ireland. In particular, the prominence of Tug of War in both Westmeath and Offaly. Over the past few months one team has come to the forefront in regards Tug of War success.
This Team is known as Hillview Tug of War. It is a youths team, trained by Sean Doherty a seasoned professional in the sport. The Members are all under the age of 18 and have put in immense time and effort to develop their squad to a world class standard. The Team are newly formed this year, and have already emerged as the top team in Ireland and one of the top teams in the world. Members of the team are mainly from Offaly with one member coming from Westmeath. Declan Crombie, Brian Crombie, James Rafferty, Tom Touhey, Dean Doherty, Amy Doherty, Ronan Crombie, Chloe Doherty (Watergirl) and Westmeath Man Thomas Mc Cormack.
With their first outing this year in Leinster Championships, the team quickly emerged as strong contenders securing First place in Edenderry in the 420kg competition. They secured two further Leinster titles in Balbriggan at the 420kg and Rochfortbridge in the 400kg competition. The club then went on to win a second place title in Ulster at 420kg competition held in Cavan. After this series of successes at provincial level, the team travelled to Clonakilty Co. Cork to compete in 425kg Youths National Championships.
Here they won their first All Ireland title. The next All Ireland Competition which was held in Taughmaconell Co. Roscommon marked the start of the National 420kg Youth League. The team put in a strong performance and gained 7points for second place to the Sligo team Lough Arrow. The second round of the league was held in Bonniconlon, Co. Mayo. Here the team managed to overpower the Sligo team and secure first position gaining 8points. This left the two teams at loggerheads for the league final in Ballycullane Co. Wexford. It was the competition that stood out in the league as both teams desperately fought for the All Ireland Title. Hillview came out top trumps on the day adding a second All Ireland to their exploits.
The team had to this point shown their strength and determination at All Ireland level and now prepared for their debut on at International Level. The GENSB International Youths Tournament held in Belgium saw Hillview join forces with youths teams from around Ireland. Namely Lough Arrow Co Sligo, The Grove Co. Mayo and Ballinagh Co. Cavan.
31 people travelled in the Irish group made up of 21 pullers plus coaches, guardians and spectators. The Irish panel entered two teams into the competition.The youths formed two Irish teams named Éire Og. Their skills and training were put to the test as they pulled against 37 different teams from England, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Lithuania and Germany. The Eire Og 1 team consisted of 8 boys and two girls and weighed in at 579kg, five of which belonged to the Hillview squad. While the Eire Og 2 team of 9 boys weighed in at 560kg. Eire Og 1 were drawn in group 2 with 9 teams with the top 4 going through to the last 16 of the competition. There was some tough competition in this group which was topped by Mosnang but the Eire Og team performed really well to qualify in 3rd place with 17 points. In the last 16 they were drawn against Luthern from Switzerland who qualified in 2nd place in their group.
The Irish team dug really deep and produced a wonderful performance to progress into the quarter finals with a straight end victory becoming the first ever Irish team to make the last 8 at the Games. In the quarters they were drawn against Powerrangers from Belgium. This was a step too far for the Irish team loosing out to the eventual bronze medalists in straight ends. Eire Og 2 also pulled well picking up a very respectable 9 points in group 3 finishing 23rd overall.
Hillview are always on the lookout for new pullers, girls and boys from the age of 12 upwards. To get in contact with the club you can find details on the irish tug of war website or through Hillview’s Facebook page. Also the neighboring team of Streamstown, based in Westmeath from which Thomas McCormack originally hails are also on the look out for new pullers for their Ladies and Men’s teams. You can get in contact with this club through Hillview or Irish tug of war website. The teams are setting their sights high to put the Midlands on the map for Tug of War on a national and international level. As the World Championships are on the cards for 2014 in Mayo, Hillview is definitely a team to watch.
The sport of Tug of War has been prominent in Ireland for many centuries. It is a competitive team sport that originated in England, Scotland, Sweden and many other countries with a sea-faring tradition.For it originated in the great days of sail when teams of men were required to tug on lines to adjust sails while ships were underway or even in combat.There are approximately fifty countries affiliated to the Tug of War International Federation (TWIF).Ireland is considered as one of the top countries in international Tug of War having won many medals for both club and country down through the years.The sport of Tug of War is recognized by the International Olympic Council (IOC) and is on the waiting list to be re-instated to the Olympic Games.