The ever-pop­u­lar tug-of-war

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

As the Glengarry High­land Games pre­pares to cel­e­brate its 70th year, the many plan­ning com­mit­tees are work­ing to make it an out­stand­ing show for ev­ery­one who at­tends. Added to the tra­di­tional Games events of pip­ing, drum­ming, danc­ing and heavy­weights are sev­eral events that have grown to be much an­tic­i­pated at­trac­tions.

One of these is the Tug of War, which was a fea­ture of the early Games be­fore it fell out of favour. Then, In 2008, a demon­stra­tion Tug of War was held be­tween the SD&G High­landers and the Cameron High­landers from Ot­tawa. Since then the High­land Reg­i­ment Tug of War has rapidly grown to last year’s record num­ber of 12 teams com­pet­ing be­fore an en­thu­si­as­tic Games crowd.

The High­landers Tug-o-War Chal­lenge Cup is the only sport­ing event cre­ated and de­signed specif­i­cally for units of the Cana­dian Army Re­serve. There is no other sport­ing event of its kind in Canada that is avail­able for Cana­dian Army Re­serve units. Phys­i­cally de­mand­ing team sports have long been ap­pre­ci­ated by mil­i­taries around the world as a means to de­velop their fight­ing force. They are key to build­ing strong, ded­i­cated unit bonds and es­prit de corps that is crit­i­cal to mil­i­tary suc­cess.

Tug-o-War is ide­ally suited for Army Re­serve units as it re­quires few re­sources, no prior ex­pe­ri­ence, and re­quires no more than a sec­tion of sol­diers (the ba­sic build­ing block of ca­pa­bil­ity within the Army) for a team, where suc­cess is more a func­tion of unit co­he­sion and lead­er­ship than raw phys­i­cal strength and body mass. It’s a tech­ni­cal sport that de­mands the full co­op­er­a­tion and rhythm of a sol­diers work­ing to­gether in ex­act har­mony... per­fect for small unit lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment.

Com­bined with the pub­lic com­pe­ti­tion venue pre­sented by the Glengarry High­land Games, The High­landers Tug-o-War Chal­lenge Cup has a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion on unit morale, lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment, self-dis­ci­pline, team­work, loy­alty, and com­mit­ment while es­tab­lish­ing and build­ing strong com­mu­nity ties,” states Bud Walsh, Di­rec­tor of the High­land Chal­lenge Event.

This year the fol­low­ing teams have con­firmed their par­tic­i­pa­tion. There may be more con­firmed in the weeks ahead. Re­turn­ing to the com­pe­ti­tion are the Cameron High­landers of Ot­tawa (last year’s win­ners), the Stor­mont, Dun­das & Glengarry High­landers, the Toronto Scot­tish Reg­i­ment, the Lorne Scots, the Ar­gyll & Suther­land High­landers of Canada, the Lake Su­pe­rior Scot­tish Reg­i­ment, and the Es­sex & Kent Scot­tish Reg­i­ment. New teams this year in­clude the Brockville Ri­fles and the 42nd Field Reg­i­ment (The La­nark & Ren­frew Scot­tish), Royal Cana­dian Ar­tillery.

The Camerons are cur­rently on a win­ning streak of five wins in a row from 2012 through to 2016. Of the past 10 com­pe­ti­tions, The Camerons have won all but three! The home town Glens are al­ways a favourite and have placed in the fi­nal round al­most ev­ery year. The Toronto Scot­tish also look to be strong con­tenders this year and have taken on ex­pert coach­ing and in­struc­tional pe­ri­ods on tech­nique. Com­bined with their size, they'll prove to be a tough team for the Camerons and Glens to beat.

The Ar­gylls and E&K Scots have been steady per­form­ers for some time now, and the Lorne Scots have been here twice be­fore and each time they im­prove. It is ex­pected that all these teams will pro­vide tough com­pe­ti­tion. The Lake Su­pe­rior Scot­tish travel the great­est dis­tance... 18 hours on the road from Thun­der Bay. That dis­tance has never been a weak point for the team as they al­ways show up ready for a tough fight on the rope.

The two new teams, Brockville and 42 Field Reg­i­ment, are a wel­come ex­pan­sion to the com­pe­ti­tion. They will be the wild cards in this year's show.

The High­landers Tug of War takes place on Satur­day Aug. 5 start­ing at 10 a.m. on the east side of the in­field with the fi­nal pull at 5:30 p.m. just be­fore the massed bands.

The SDG High­landers com­pete in the tug-of-war at the High­land Games

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