At the 2020 AGM, the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Hon General Secretary, International Representative and Officials and Records Secretary will be subject to election with those elected to serve these posts being subject to a 2 year term of office.
Current senior officers of the TOWA are as follows:
Currently Post Holder
Mr Peter Dyer
Mr David Kitchener - Temporary
Mr Alan Ludkin - Standing Down
Hon. Gen. Secretary
Mr Mick Copper
Mr David Kitchener - Temporary
Officials & Records Secretary
Mr Gavin Corden
In accordance with our constitution, nominations for the above posts must be made from members of the TOWA General Committee who have been elected by their areas to serve in 2020, save for the Officials and Records Secretary, Treasurer and Hon Gen Secretary who may come from outside of the General Committee. Please note that anyone from outside of the General Committee who is nominated must be paid up individual members of the TOWA to stand for office.
Elected area representatives for 2020 are as follows:
Area 1 (Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Humberside)
Alex Birch and Rachel Lewis
Area 2 (Staffordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northants, Rutland, West Midlands)
Gavin Corden and Dave Knott
Area 3 (Oxfordshire, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Bristol and Avon)
Pete Dyer and Martin Collins
Area 4 (Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire)
John Gracie and Gareth Wyatt
Area 5 (Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire)
Mick Grimston and David Kitchener
Area 6 (Surrey, Kent and Sussex)
Alan Ludkin and Mike Hutchinson
Area 7 (Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex)
To be confirmed
Area 8 (Devon and Cornwall)
John Neal and Kevin Frain
Area 9 (Cumbria, Northumberland, Durham, Cleveland, Tyne and Wear)
Joe Birch and James Metcalfe
Area 10 (Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside)
Before making any nominations to the TOWA, please check with the person that you are nominating for the relevant position that they are willing to stand for the full two year term and that they have the commitment and time available to serve in those positions.
All nominations for senior officials positions must be submitted to the TOWA Secretary (Mick Copper) in writing by close of business, Friday 3 January 2020.
The 2020 TOWA Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 25th January 2020 at 2pm at the Roman Way Hotel, Watling Street, Hatherton, Cannock.
All club and individual members are encouraged to come along and actively take part in any decisions / votes that are to be held at the meeting.
All clubs are encouraged to ensure that they send along a representative to the TOWA AGM, which is usually the club secretary. If your club secretary cannot attend, then a nominated stand in can attend to represent your club, however they should have a letter of authorisation from the club secretary to vote on any matters on behalf of you clubs.
The 2020 TOWA AGM will be held in the Nero Suite on the Ground Floor, rather than the usual room we use upstairs. This is assist those members with mobility issues that wish to attend.
Membership forms are in the process of being sent out to all current club and individual members.
Please could all clubs / individuals ensure that you send your membership renewals and membership fee in before 1 January 2020.
In addition, please can you ensure that you accurately complete your contact details so that our records are up to date and confirm your agreement to your contact details being published in the TOWA Handbook as per the correspondence that accompanies the membership forms.
Club members - please make sure you name your two nominated club welfare officers on your membership form. This is mandatory.
Membership fees can be paid by cheque (cheques should be made payable to "The Tug of War Association") or you can pay by bank transfer using the following details:
sort code: 54-30-27
Account Number: 37013963
Account Name: Tug of War Association Club Account
Please put your club / individual name on the payment description line so we know who the payment has come from.
Before making payment via bank transfer, we advise that you contact the TOWA Treasurer, Alan Ludkin, by phone on 01304 617660 to verify our account details. The TOWA does not accept responsibility if you transfer funds to the wrong account. Please note also that we do not e-mail you regarding changes to our account details, so if you receive any e-mails telling you to pay into a different account then please do not pay any money into such accounts, and please inform us if you receive any suspicious communications.
The Tug of War Association is saddened to learn of the passing of Dave Ling.
Dave was the chairman of TOWA Area 5 and was involved in tug of war firstly as a puller, then a coach and organiser for many years. In more recent years, Dave was heavily involved in organising and encouraging teams along to the Kessingland Autumn Tug of War weekend, including this year’s event in October.
As a puller, Dave was a member of the Reedham Vikings team for many years until the club disbanded, and after that, Dave carried on as a puller with Totham Bull and a puller/coach with Woodton.
Dave was a very friendly and helpful person on the tug of war circuit and he will be missed by many.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with Dave’s wife Pat, his family, friends and team mates.
The funeral will take place on January 10th 2020 at 1pm at Magdalen Crematorium, Oriel Avenue, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, NR31 7JJ.
Family flowers only please.
Any donations to the Royal British legion, either at Jarys on Northgate street, Great Yarmouth or a collection box at the service.
The weight classes for the open competition at the British and Irish Championships have now been confirmed as follows:
Men - 560, 600, 640, 680
Ladies - 500 and 540
Senior Mixed - 580
Junior Men - 560
Junior Ladies - 520
As it is an open competition, teams may weigh in with 7 pullers in a weight class if they wish to do so, and in the mens weight classes, teams may weigh in with up to two female pullers if required.
In addition, please note the following regarding accommodation.
We have reserved all twin rooms at the hotel for competitors as well as double rooms, however the hotel may release double rooms to the general public if they are not booked in good time, so teams are advised to book their accommodation at the earliest opportunity.
The web site for the World Outdoor Tug of War Championships to be held in the Basque Country on 16-20 September 2020 has now been launched. The web site contains programme, information and accommodation details.
On 1 and 2 February 2020, the Tug of War Association will be hosting the 2020 British and Irish Indoor Tug of War Championships. Please click here for further details about how to take part or go along and support the teams taking part. There is both an international competition and an open club competition. Any club is eligible to take part in the open competition.
The first indoor competition of the 2019/20 season takes place on Sunday 3 November. ALL teams are welcome and encouraged to take part in indoor tug of war.
Please note that:
The weigh in for all Sunday open competitions commences at 9am, with the first pull at 10am
The venue for all events and championships is the Harry Mitchell Centre, Broomfield, Smethwick, West Midlands, B67 7DH
The AAA Indoor Championships takes place on Sunday 17 November
The indoor National Championships takes place on Saturday 7 December, with the weigh in taking place on Friday 6 December between 4pm and 8pm
All indoor fixtures, including weight classes for each event are available on our fixtures page
All puller registrations / temporary transfers of pullers from outdoor to indoor clubs need to be completed one month prior to the relevant championships
The deadline to register pullers for the AAA indoor championships is Thursday 17 October 2019
The deadline to register pullers for the national indoor championships is Thursday 7 November 2019
All teams intending to take part on the indoor circuit should contact the TOWA Secretary in advance to confirm attendance at the various weekly competitions to ensure that the hall is booked for a sufficient amount of time for each event and sufficient officials are in attendance.
For all enquiries about the indoor tug of war season, please contact the TOWA Secretary by e-mail or phone 01933 622639
The Tug of War Association is sad to learn of the passing of Patsy Murphy, former puller of Garry Owen, Albright and Wilson, St Pats and Felton Eccles. Click here for a tribute from his former coach at St Pats, Steve Goss and funeral details.
Click here for the schedule of events for the next four days of competition (including which English teams will be competing when) and a link to the live streaming which we have embedded onto our site for everyone to watch.
Make sure you log on to support the England teams taking part!
From Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 September 2019, the TWIF European Outdoor Tug of War Championships will be taking place in Castlebar, Republic of Ireland and teams from England will be taking part in the event!
It is certain to be a tough but exciting competition and we would like to wish all of the teams from England that are taking part the very best of luck!
You can read more about the teams representing England this week by clicking here!
2019 saw England host the annual GENSB junior international tournament in Folkestone, Kent over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. It was a very hot day and the teams taking part enjoyed an excellent day of tug of war!
Click here for a report, photos and videos from the event!
Steve Phillips of St.Clarets and Thames Valley TOWC's sadly passed away on Friday 9th August. Steve had been fighting Cancer for some while and was recently at the Area 7 Open Championships at Sandhurst in July. Steve had seemed in good spirits and was looking forward to keeping in touch with his Tug of War friends, but this was sadly not to be.
Steve's Funeral will be on Wednesday 28th August at 1am ATGrange Park Baptists Church, 217 Lansbury Drive, Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 8RS. The service will be followed by the burial at 12.30pm at Northwood Cemetery, HA6 1HU. The wake will be held at Hayes & Harrington Community Centre, Albert Road Hayes, UB3 4HR
Nick Skelton of Cotswold Farmers and recently Coach of Ansty YFC TOW Club has also recently passed away following his fight against Cancer.
Nick was a well known competitor in the South West and competed at both Outdoor and Indoor Tug of War with Cotswold Farmers.
Nick has been Coaching Ansty YFC in recent years and as well as competing in the TOWA National Championships, Ansty YFC won the YFC Championships in 2017, and most recently this year even though Nick was too ill to attend.
Our thoughts are with Steve and Nick's family, friends and team mates at this difficult time.
Well done to all of the teams who travelled to the British and Irish Tug of War Championships in Northern Ireland over the weekend. It was a fantastic event which saw England come away with a number of medals! Click here for a report from the event!
The Tug of War Association is sad to learn that ex TOWA judge Martin Thorpe passed away on 31 July.
The Funeral will take place 28 August at 1pm at North Herts Memorial Park and Crematorium.
Followed by tea at Mount Pleasant Golf Course, Lower Stondon.
If anyone would like to attend, write a tribute and/or make a tribute then you are asked to please contact Kirsty Thorpe by email. If you would like to make contact, then please drop us a message and we can provide you with the email address by return.
The family are asking for all gents to wear bright coloured or character ties and brighly coloured ties. Family flowers only and donations if you wish will be splite between Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation.
This weekend the 2019 British and Irish Tug of War Championships take place in Northern Ireland, with the closed international competition taking place on Friday 9 August and the open club competition taking place on Saturday 10 August.
The Tug of War Association would like to wish all of those teams travelling to the event the very best of luck.
You can find out more about the teams that are representing England by clicking here.
Well done and thank you to everyone who attended the TOWA training and development day on Sunday 28 July at Holland Sports Club.
The day went well despite the weather and we hope that everyone who attended learned something new and got plenty from the day.
As ever, if you have any constructive feedback from the day, positive or negative, then please contact us with your comments and suggestions as to how we can improve future training and development days.
The Tug of War Association is sad to learn of the passing of Nigel Slade.
Nigel Slade started his career with Byfords/Southend ToWC before joining Rainham/St. George in 1992. With the Club he was a regular member in the teams that achieved a Silver and 5 Bronzes at the outdoor national championships. When he joined Tonbridge in 2004 he was in the 640kg National bronze medalist side.
He achieved greater success on the Indoor circuit with BAC being part of numerous Gold medal winning teams and also represented England.
A good bloke all round and great competitor.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends and team mates.
The Funeral of Nigel Slade will take place on Tuesday 13th August 2019 at St. Andrews Church, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1NW at 12.00pm.
The burial will be at The Lawn Cemetary, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1PA at 1pm.
Every will be welcome to come back to the house after for tea/coffee and food.
On Sunay 28 July 2019, the TOWA will be holding a recorders course in conjunction with the TOWA Training and Development Day
TOWA recorders provide a very important role in the running of tug of war competitions, in particular assisting with the draw, recording the scores and recording cautions received by each team.
Becoming a TOWA recorder offers those who enjoy coming along to support events with an opportunity to participate and assist with the running of such events. There are few limitations to becoming a TOWA recorder and everyone is encouraged to put themselves forward.
This is an ideal opportunity for anyone that wishes to help out with recording at their local club events.
Click here for a link to an article featured on "Around the Rings" for an interview with TWIF President Anton Rabe discussing the prospects and challenges for the future of including tug of war in the Olympic Games.
If you are a Facebook or Twitter user, please click the links below and share the article with your friends / followers to help promote the ethos and values of our sport.
All teams are kindly asked to note that there are a number of events that are taking place at various shows and public events around the country during 2019. These events are great opportunities to showcase our sport to a large audience and all teams are encouraged to support these events as much as possible.
Please click here for more details about how to take part at various shows around the country and the deadlines for obtaining entry passes and confirming your attendance.
Please note that due to circumstances beyond the control of the organisers, Thames Valley have regrettably had to cancel their event taking place on Sunday 28 April. There is still another fixture taking place on that date at Sheen in the Peak District. Please see the fixtures page for more details.
Click here to read about everything that happened at Bosley TOWC's annual open competition at the weekend and which teams won the various weight categories on the day. It was another well attended event this weekend!
On Thursday 6 December the Army Tug of War Team graced the famous coblles of Coronation Street in Manchester to take part in a tug of war match for a special compilation programme of messages from military families to their loved ones back home and overseas. Click here to read more and see some photos and videos!
Click the video below to watch a highlight program from the 2018 World Outdoor Tug of War Championships held in Cape Town, South Africa in September, featuring all of the medal pulls from the closed international competition and interviews with organisers, coaches and pullers.
The Tug of War Association is saddened to learn of the passing of Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Cecil John Lawson, known to most of us as "Tug" this afternoon.
Tug was well know in both the TOWA circuit and of course the military circuit, bringing many teams through over the years at both senior and junior level and actively encouraging new recruits to get involved.
Tug has previously served on the TOWA general committee, served as TOWA president and was also a TOWA Award of Merit holder.
In 2014, Tug was awarded with the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours List today for voluntary service to the Army Cadet Force. Tug had been part of the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland ACF for many years, and was instrumental in promoting tug of war within the ACF. Tug of war is now a fully recognised sport within the ACF, with county, regional and national tug of war competitions taking place every year. Many ACF clubs are now taking part in TOWA youth competitions, with many also taking part in GENSB competitions, with some ACF clubs also going on to represent England at youth level.
Thank you Tug for everything that you have done for our sport.
A true gentleman in every sense of the word who will be greatly missed.
The TOWA is in the process of putting together the fixture list for 2019 which will be discussed at the General Committee meeting to be held in November.
If you are a club or event organiser and are looking to organise a tug of war competition during 2019 (including any training leagues, YFC competitions, shows, etc), then you need to apply for your permits by Mid November (17 November 2018). The cost of a permit is £20.
To apply to hold an event, please complete the permit application form and return it to the TOWA secretary Mick Copper along with the permit fee using the details provided on the form.
If your date is flexible, then please provide any potential alternative dates with your application in the event that there is a clash with another nearby event.
If you wish to host the AAA championships (any event prior to the national championships in June), Inter County Championships (any event after the June national championships) or League Finals (first week of September or slightly earlier date during late August depending upon the date of the European Championships in September) at your event, then please provide a covering letter applying to hold such an event. Where more than one venue applies to hold such an event, then a decision will be made by the committee by way of majority vote based upon the information provided about the suitability of the venue.
Organisers are also reminded that when organising a tug of war event, it is your own responsibility to invite officials and such invitations should be sent at the earliest opportunity and not at the last minute.
In advance of receiving expected questions on the national championships venue, the venue for the championships will be voted on in November. Otherwise, the national championships takes place on the third Saturday of June. We are always looking for venues to host future national championships in the coming years, so if you wish to put a venue forward (ideally at a show or other public venue/event with weigh in facilities nearby), then please contact the Championships Secretary Mick Grimston (email@example.com) to discuss further what is required.
Otherwise, if you have any other general queries about competition fixtures / hosting an event, then please contact the TOWA Secretary Mick Copper - firstname.lastname@example.org. The permit application form to apply to host an event is available to download below. If you intend to hold an event in 2019, then please download, complete and return the form to the TOWA Secretary as soon as possible.
Whether you’re a puller, coach, parent, physio, doctor or S&C coach, it’s vital you are aware of the changes, so you don’t get caught out and end up with a ban from sport.
The List outlines substances and methods which are banned both in and out-of-competition, but it is not exhaustive as most categories only include common examples. It’s updated every October, giving you time to get to grips with any changes before the New Year, but please also be aware that changes can also be made to the Prohibited List throughout the year.
Several of the changes relate to supplements, or ingredients commonly found within them, while there is also more information around gene doping and examples of certain substances being known by a different name.
More details can be found on the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) website, so please take the time to have a read through to ensure you don’t get caught out.
The Kessingland Autumn Tug of War Weekend celebrated its 40th Anniversary this year and the organisers are very grateful that pullers are still turning out for the weekend, enabling them to keep the competition going. This included two new teams to the event.
The results were as follows:
600kg winners, Raunds and runners up Halstead
640kg winners, Halstead and runners up Raunds
680kg winners, Raunds and runners up Halstead
600kg 4x4 winners Thames Valley B and runners up Thames Valley A
620kg winners Raunds and runners up Hadleigh
660kg winners Raunds and runners up Hadleigh
720kg winners Raunds and runners up Halstead
660kg 4x4 winners Hadleigh and runners up Thames Valley
Next year the Kessingland event is being held over the weekend of 12th and 13th October 2019 and the organisers look forward to seeing everybody once again!
Starting on Sunday 28 October, there will be 5 weekly competitions, taking place on Sundays, followed by the TOWA national indoor championships on Saturday 1st December
The indoor season is run as a league. Annual team trophies (donated by Len Hall) are awarded for each weight class at the final indoor competition before the national championships for the teams that have accumulated the most points over the course of the season in each weight class.
This season will include new 6 a side weight classes at 480kg and 510kg for men. Ladies/junior 6 a side weights will be confirmed shortly.
As per the ruling voted in at the 2018 AGM, This year, there will be a 6 a side weight class held at each indoor event (open competitions only). Teams may weigh into these weight classes with 6 pullers or 5 pullers, as with normal 8 a side competitions where teams can weigh in with 7 pullers.
This weight class is a great opportunity for teams who have never done indoor tug of war before, or for teams with small squads to come along and take part. It is also ideal for outdoor teams looking to keep fit over the winter to come along and have a go. All you need is your normal tug of war kit and flat soft sole trainers instead of boots. Multiple teams can be entered into the 6 a side weight classes if your clubs have sufficient numbers in attendance, and teams can also borrow pullers to make extra teams.
Please note that in order to encourage new teams to take part on the indoor circuit that for the 6 a side weight classes, the TOWA committee has resolved to only permit unmodified, shop bought shoes for the 6 a side weight categories.
Please note also that the 6 a side weight classes will not count towards the criteria for qualifying to represent England for those teams looking to qualify to represent England at the British and Irish Championships. If teams attend an indoor event with 5 pullers to compete in the 6 a side weight class, and wish for the event to count towards the qualification criteria for representing England, then they may borrow two pullers to compete in an 8 a side weight class with 7 pullers as a maximum of two pullers may be borrowed to be eligible to meet the criteria, with our rules allowing for teams to compete with 7 pullers in open competitions.
Entry to the hall each week is £2 per person (which includes raffle tickets) to help cover the costs of hall hire.
In advance of the first competitions, teams are asked to contact the TOWA secretary to confirm attendance and approximate number of weight classes that you think your team is likely to enter so that appropriate planning can take place in advance of the event to ensure that the hall is booked for the appropriate length of time.
The list of open competition fixtures prior to the national indoor championships are available on the fixtures page. Please note that the weigh in time for each competition is 9am, with competitions starting at 10am.
We are looking forward to another good indoor tug of war season!
4 members of the Royal Corps of Signals recently traveled to South Africa as part of the England Tug of War Squad to take part in the World Tug of War Championships.
Warrant Officer Class One Brian Mclean is a member of 11th (Royal School of Signals ) Signal Regiment and has been involved with military Tug of War for almost 23 years. He is key to the development of the sport within the Army as he introduces young junior soldiers to the sport whilst they are in training. He traveled to South Africa in an assistant coach capacity and gained valuable experience of youth Tug of War at International level which will aid with the development of the young soldiers he has under his command.
In addition to Brian, 3 other members of the Royal Corps of Signals recently traveled to South Africa as part of the England Tug of War Squad to take part in the World Tug of War Championships. Warrant Officer Class Two Jon Perks traveled over as part of his civilian club Felton Eccles who he competed for in the open competition before competing in the closed competition for England, winning a bronze medal in the 680kg weight category. Signaller Nial Lewis and Signaller Elise Kalaher are Phase 2 trainee soldiers who are currently completing their trade training after joining the Army in the past year. While pulling for 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment this season on the Army circuit they both caught the eye of the England Junior team manager and were selected to represent England Juniors in South Africa and also competed in the open competition for Team ACF.
Congratulations to the above. A number of military teams and personnel have competed on the TOWA circuit over a great number of years and continue to do so. Many civilian clubs also take on military pullers after they have left the service, so if you are an ex-member of a forces tug of war team and want to remain involved in the sport, then please contact us to find a tug of war club near to you!
On the weekend of 23-25 August, the Tug of War Association has the honour of hosting the 2019 GENSB youth international club tournament.
This is an open competition and is open to ALL junior teams (male, female or mixed). There are no pre-qualification competitions and any club can take part. Please visit the GENSB 2019 page for further details about how to take part.
It is with regret that the Midland Area TOWA have had to cancel the above event, due to teams not informing the organisers whether or not they were going to attend the event.
Going forward, the Tug of War Association would like to remind teams that you should contact event organisers in advance of an event to confirm whether or not you are going to attend. A lot of organisation, time and expenditure is required to put on events, so co-operation with event organisers by all teams from this point forward would be appreciated. Thank you.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped to make this a success - from those who organised the event from the outset, all of the volunteers, Wyboston Lakes, all of the teams, all of the officials and all of the supporters. We had a great time! Here's to the next 60 years and beyond!