Introducing Your England Representative Teams for the 2023 British and Irish Tug of War Championships
This weekend, the British and Irish Tug of War Championships are taking place in Elgin, Scotland, 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 there below.
Men 600kg – 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 560, 600, 640, 680, 720, catchweight and mixed 580kg at the national championships. Lincoln, as England representatives, will be representing England in this weight class for the first time in a number of years and will be looking to win British and Irish gold after winning the 680kg title in 2022. Lincoln have again had a successful few months so far where they have won many of the competitions that they have entered, as well as having a very successful 2022 season where medals were won medals for Great Britain and England at the World Games and TWIF world championships respectively.
Men 600kg – England B
England B 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 2023 English National Championships. Felton also won silver in the 640kg and 680kg competitions and bronze in the mens 560kg and 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 England A at 600kg in 2022, but unfortunately missed out on a medal on that occasion before taking a hard fought bronze medal representing England at the World Championships at 680kg.
Men 600kg – England C
The England C mens 600kg team will be a squad team of Under 23 pullers made up of pullers from Anstey, York, East Anglia, Felton Eccles, Oxney Vines Cross and Bosley. A number 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 – Harry Large, William Criddle, Billy Lippiat, Daniel Laird, Jake Beanland, Jack Routley, Dan Nicholls, Max Daniels, Dylan King.
Ladies 520kg – England A
England A will this year be represented by Bedford Ladies who qualified for the event as national champions. Bedford represented England in this weight class in 2022 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 all four of the ladies weight classes at the national championships and in 2022 represented Great Britain 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.
Ladies 520kg – England B
England B will this year be represented by Melton Mowbray Ladies who represented England in the 560kg weight class last year and won the gold medal. They will be looking to go win the title at the lighter weight class, despite missing out on gold at the National Championships this time around. This is Melton Ladies third full season on the ladies circuit and they have made great progress in a short space of time and managed to get a bronze medal in the open competition at the 2022 World Championships.
Ladies 520kg – England C
The England ladies 520kg team will be a squad team of Under 23 pullers mainly made up of pullers from East Anglia, Bosley, Upper Eden and Holland.
The England under 23 ladies team will be going into the event off the back of a successful 2022 season where they picked up a hard won silver medal at the World Championships in Holland.
Some of the pullers involved in the team were part of the successful world championships team and will be joined by some new faces this year as they look to build upon their experience from 2022 against some strong senior opposition. As with the under 23 men, it will be very much a learning experience for the under 23 ladies. We wish these pullers the very best of luck!
England C Squad – Freya Russell, Josie Simpkin, Zoe Brocklehurst, Kate Brocklehurst, Martha Oddy, Vic Astle, Nat Hulme, Amelia Kerry, Holly Griffifths, Katie Bowness.
Senior Men 680kg – England A
England A will this year be represented by Bedfordshire who qualified for this competition after finishing in the top 4 at the 2023 national championships. Bedfordshire first got a taste of representing England in senior mens competition in 2021 where they representing England in the 600kg competition. Bedfordshire are in their third season of TOWA competition and we look forward to seeing a strong performance from them.
Senior Men 680kg – England B
England B will this year be represented by Lincoln who qualified for this competition as national champions and won gold in the mens 560, 600, 640, 680, 720, catchweight and mixed 580kg at the national championships.
Under TOWA rules, teams need to select one weight category to represent England, however if the teams placed below them are representing in other weight classes, or other teams decline their invitation to represent, then the gold medal winning team may be invited to represent at a second weight class. In this case, Lincoln originally chose to represent England in the 600kg and were invited to represent England at 600kg after other teams selected other weight classes.
Lincoln, as England representatives, will be the defending champions in this weight class and will be looking to win gold again having won the 680kg title for England every year since 2015.
Senior Ladies 560kg – England A
England A will this year be represented by Bedfordshire, who are representing England as a ladies team for the second time, following an excellent performance at the national championships in June where they won the silver medal in this weight class. In 2022, Bedfordshire represented England B in this weight class, where they narrowly missed out on a bronze medal after two tough three end battles in the semi finals and bronze medal pull offs in very hot and dusty weather conditions at the 2022 British and Irish Championships held in Swansea. Bedfordshire are in their third full season of competition and it is again great to see the progress that they continue to make.
Senior Ladies 560kg – England B
England B will be represented by Army Ladies who qualified for the event as national championship bronze 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 540kg competition at the national championships. Army Ladies will be hoping to go one better for England this time.
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 2023 National Championships in the mixed competition. The teams are the defending champions in this weight class at the British and Irish Championships, and in 2022, they joined forces for Great Britain 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.