Introducing Your England Representative Teams for the 2022 British and Irish Tug of War Championships
This weekend, the British and Irish Tug of War Championships are taking place in Swansea, Wales, which will see representative teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland battling it out for the gold medals in the mens, ladies, mixed, junior men, junior ladies and junior mixed competitions. In each weight class, each country can enter A and B teams, and in the senior mens 600kg, senior ladies 520kg and mixed 580kg countries can enter C teams made up of under 23 pullers. We have a number of clubs representing England at this event and you can read a bit more about them and how they got here below.
Men 600kg – England A
England A will this year be represented by Felton Eccles TOWC who are based in Somerset. Felton Eccles qualified for the mens 600kg competition as silver medallists in this weight class at the 2022 English National Championships. The 600kg competition was won by Lincoln at the National Championships, however they have chosen to represent England in the senior mens 680kg competition, so Felton Eccles will be representing England A as the highest placed team at the national championships. Felton also won silver in the 640kg and 680kg competitions and bronze in the mens 720kg at the national championships and have had a good season so far. Felton of course are no strangers to international tug of war having represented England on numerous occasions. Felton represented last England A at 600kg in 2017 where they won the gold medal, and will be hoping to repeat that success this time.
Men 600kg – England B
England B will this year be represented by Upper Eden TOWC from Cumbria. Upper Eden have been competing on the TOWA circuit since 2017 and have built up a good team over the past few seasons in the lighter mens weight classes. Upper Eden represented England as a club for the first time at the 2019 British and Irish Championships, but missed out on a medal on that occasion in the mens 600kg competition, but picked up a bronze in the mixed 580kg competition at the same championships. Some of their members went on to win gold for England in the 600kg weight class as part of a composite team at the 2021 British and Irish Championships, and their pullers will be hoping for gold again. Upper Eden qualified for this competition in 4th place this time around, whilst also picking up a silver medal in the mens 560kg and bronze in the mixed 580kg.
Men 600kg – England C
The England C mens 600kg team will be a squad team of Under 23 pullers mainly made up of pullers from Bosley and Upper Eden. All of the pullers involved in the team are competing in their first full outdoor season on the TOWA circuit and it will be very much a learning experience for them. We wish these pullers the very best of luck!
England C Squad – Ewan Hay, Jackson Twentyman, Matthew Fabi, Jack Sowerby, Harry Large, Greg Large, Alfie Waring, Tom Whilock, Rob Clark, Joe Richardson
Ladies 520kg – England A
England A will this year be represented by Bedford Ladies who qualified for the event as national champions. It has been a very busy 12 months for Bedford Ladies on the national and international circuit. Bedford represented England in this weight class in 2021 and won the gold medal so will go into this competition as defending champions. Bedford have so far had a very successful season winning gold in the ladies 500kg and 520kg competitions and silver in the ladies 540kg and 560kg competitions at the national championships and have recently been part of the Great Britain squad that competed at the World Games in Alabama where the GB ladies finished 4th, just missing out on a bronze medal in the ladies 540kg competition, but then won gold as part of the mixed 580kg Great Britain team which was a massive achievement.
Bedford Ladies Tug of War Club are currently doing some crowdfunding towards representing England this year, and if you wish to make a donation to help them on their way, then please visit their crowdfunding page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bedfordladies-worldgames
Ladies 520kg – England B
England B will again be represented by Army Ladies at 520kg who qualified for the event as national championship silver medalists. Army Ladies have had another solid season this year and have made big improvements coming very close to taking a gold medal at the national championships after losing out by 2 ends to 1 to Bedford Ladies in the national championships. Army Ladies will be hoping to go one better for England this time.
Ladies 520kg – England C
The England ladies 520kg team will be a squad team of Under 23 pullers mainly made up of pullers from Essex, Bosley, and Upper Eden. Many of the pullers involved in the team are competing in their first full outdoor season on the TOWA circuit and as with the under 23 men, it will be very much a learning experience for them. We wish these pullers the very best of luck!
England Junior Men, Junior Ladies and Junior Mixed
The junior mens weight class will be 560kg, the junior ladies will be 520kg and the junior mixed will be held at 560kg. England has a large development squad taking part in this event and will be fielding teams in the junior men, junior ladies and junior mixed competitions. There have been a number of development sessions held over the previous few weeks for our junior pullers and it has been great to see lots of interest and enthusiasm from the pullers and coaches involved. This squad will be made up of pullers from a number of TOWA clubs and YFC teams. Again, it will be a fantastic learning opportunity for our young pullers and we wish everyone the very best of luck.
Junior Men - Dylan King, Bobby Irving, Callum Ellis, John Ellis, Tom Alan, George Large, Myles Capper, James Wooton Evans, Will Howard, Lewis Sorrell, Joe Hulme, Toby Allison, Harry Crane, George Barker
Junior ladies - Harriet Benjamin, Niamh Winder, Pippa Steele, Sarah-Beth Fillingham, Carley Thwaites, Mollie Read, Millie Tomlinson, Grace Sercombe, Claudia Clemons, Amelia Kerry
Senior Men 680kg – England A
England A will this year be represented by Lincoln who qualified for this competition as national champions and won gold in the mens 600, 640, 680, 720 and mixed 580kg at the national championships. Lincoln, as England representatives, will be the defending champions in this weight class and will be looking to win gold again after a successful few months so far where they have won many of the competitions that they have entered, as well as silver for Great Britain in the mens 640kg at the World Games and then had pullers who went on to win gold for Great Britain in the mixed 580kg at the same event.
Senior Men 680kg – England B
England B will this year be represented by York who have had a great season so far after winning silver and two bronze medals at the national championships. This season will be the first time that York have represented England in a senior mens weight class, but the club has represented England before in the mixed 600kg at the 2013 UK Championships held in Perth where the team won the silver medal. York will be hoping to pick up a medal for England at this competition too.
York Tug of War Club are currently doing some crowdfunding towards representing England this year, and if you wish to make a donation to help them on their way, then please visit their crowdfunding page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/york-pulling-for-england
Senior Ladies 560kg – England A
England A will this year be represented by Melton Mowbray Ladies who represented England in this weight class last year and won the gold medal. They will be looking to go on to defend their title after having another strong season to date, when they ended the dominance of Bedford Ladies at the National Championships by winning both the ladies 540kg and 560kg competitions at the 2022 National Championships and also picked up silver in the ladies 500kg competition. This is Melton Ladies second full season on the ladies circuit and they have made great progress in a short space of time.
Melton Mowbray Ladies are currently doing some crowdfunding towards representing England this year, and if you wish to make a donation to help them on their way, then please visit their crowdfunding page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-melton-ladies-tow
Senior Ladies 560kg – England B
England B will this year be represented by Bedfordshire, who are representing England as a ladies team for the first time, following in the footsteps of their mens team who represented England at the British and Irish Championships in 2021. Bedfordshire qualified for this event in 4th place at this years national championships, but won bronze at the 2021 National Championships the year before. Bedfordshire are another team who are only in their second full season of competition and it is again great to see the progress that they have made.
Bedfordshire Tug of War Club are currently doing some crowdfunding towards representing England this year, and if you wish to make a donation to help them on their way, then please visit their crowdfunding page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/bedfordshire-tug-of-war-team
Mixed 580kg – England A and England B
England A and B will be represented by combined teams from Bedford and Lincoln who won gold and silver at the 2022 National Championships in the mixed competition. The teams are the defending champions in this weight class at the British and Irish Championships, and they recently joined forces for Great Britain in July at the World Games in the USA where they won the gold medal, so they will be hoping to get the gold medal again at the British and Irish Championships.
Mixed 580kg – England C
England C will be a mixed under 23 team, and as with the mens and ladies teams will be made up of young pullers from a number of clubs. Again, this will be a great learning and development opportunity for the pullers of the future.
The Tug of War Association would like to wish all of our teams and pullers the very best of luck, and we look forward to seeing how you all get on at the event.