Tug of war hopes to pull plenty of entries

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The Average Joes . . . showing the teamwork that made them a strong contenders in the Sefton Tug of War last year. File photo

By DAVID HILL

The host school is set to compete in the Sefton Tug of War for the first time.

Sefton School, north of Rangiora, has for several years been hosting what is believed to be New Zealand’s largest tug of war competition as its major annual fundraiser.

A Year 7-8 schools team competition has been added for this year’s event, being held at Sefton School on Sunday, May 19.

“We’re looking for more primary school teams,” organiser Cam Booker says. “Sefton School has at least two teams, so if nothing else, there’s sure to be a bit of rivalry between the two Sefton teams.”

Cam says a free training session is on offer for any school team that enters in advance of the competition.

Each school team can have up to 10 students pulling, and be a mix of boys and girls. There is no weight limit, as long as they are in Years 7 and 8.

First prize is a $500 voucher for sports equipment for the school, with $300 for second and $200 for third.

Once again, entries are sought for the “Trophy Pull” and the “Mixed Pull” competitions.

Teams of up to 10 people can be registered for each competition, with a maximum of eight pulling at any one time.

There is an 800kg team weight limit for the “Trophy Pull”, while “Mixed Pull” teams must have at least four women – but there is no weight limit.

“The 800kg weight limit is a great leveler,” Cam says.

“You’ve got to be strategic about your balance of power. You can’t just stack a team with eight massive guys.”

Last year, around 40 teams were entered.

Registration is under way, but Cam says most entries tend to come in over the last few days.

There is no entry deadline, but organisers need an indication at least a day before to prepare a draw.

“We’re still working on growing the sport in Canterbury.

“It would be good if we could get a circuit going around at the A&P shows,” Cam says. “Tug of war was once an Olympic sport and there is a world championship.”

At present, there is “a circuit of two” in Canterbury, with a tug of war competition held at the Hororata Highland Games in November.

There will also be a ute-pulling competition, gumboot throwing, highland dancing, free children’s entertainment, market stalls and a licensed bar.

For more information follow the Annual Sefton Tug of War page on Facebook or go to sites.google.com/sefton.school.nz/seftontugofwar/home.