Bray People - - SPORT -

AN Tochar GAA grounds in Round­wood played host to the Ir­ish Na­tional Tug of War Cham­pi­onships at the week­end.

The event was a huge suc­cess and fea­tured sides from across the county as well as lo­cal team Bal­li­nas­toe and the Bray Lak­ers team who were the real stars of the show.

The day started out with a youth com­pe­ti­tion in­volv­ing a lo­cal team as well as vis­it­ing teams from Mayo and Ca­van.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Wick­low young­sters they fell to their op­po­nents but there is more na­tional youth’s com­pe­ti­tions set to take place in the next cou­ple of weeks so there will be plenty of time for redemp­tion and no need to be too de­spon­dent.

Un­for­tu­nately this year there was no ladies com­pe­ti­tion but this was made up for as the na­tional ladies side took part in the men’s event. The team in­cludes the lo­cal Wick­low trio Cathy O’Toole, Jenny Barker and Jen­nifer Con­nolly.

The women put in a valiant ef­fort and beat one of their male coun­ter­part teams. The com­pe­ti­tion will also serve as great prepa­ra­tion for the ladies as they com­pete in the World In­door Tug of War Games in Rath­claw, Poland on the 27th of this month.

We talked to com­peti­tor Cathy O’Toole who said the day was a lot of fun.

“I thought it was a fun day and the weather held up as well which was great. I felt that the youth’s com­pe­ti­tions and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Bray Lak­ers was bril­liant and I think all the kids had a re­ally fun time. I visit schools ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren on the sport and al­low­ing them to par­tic­i­pate so to see all the young peo­ple there was great.

“It’s a sport for all chil­dren as each team mem­ber is as im­por­tant as the next and it’s great for build­ing team work so I sup­pose there’s life lessons to be learned from the sport as well!”

The men of Bal­li­nas­toe com­peted in the 680 kg event and the 620 kg open event. There was a big prize on the line as the win­ners of the 680 kg event would go on to rep­re­sent Ire­land at the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in South­port.

Alas the men could only man­age a 5th place fin­ish as G&B team from Bal­ly­gar, Gal­way won, but their for­tunes did im­prove in the 620 event as they picked up a bronze medal and podium fin­ish with their 3rd place.

Team mem­ber Den­nis Byrne said that although the team were dis­ap­pointed with their plac­ings that it was still are re­ally en­joy­able day.

“We went in with the aim to fin­ish top of at least one of the events, es­pe­cially in that we had home ad­van­tage so to speak, so we were a bit dis­ap­pointed with our plac­ings. We’ve been train­ing hard since Fe­bru­ary and com­pet­ing in events all along the way but there are plenty more events to look for­ward to.

“It was still a hugely en­joy­able day for all of us and the sup­port we re­ceived was fan­tas­tic. It’s great to see so many peo­ple get­ting in­volved and es­pe­cially young peo­ple so long may that con­tinue.”

Will Devine pulls with the Bal­li­nas­toe mens team.

Glen­hill in the 680kg Na­tional Out­door Cham­pi­onship mens com­pe­ti­tion.

Bub­bles Fox.

Muire­ann, Jenny and Ella Barker.

Judge Ed­die Fox at the Na­tional Tug of War com­pe­ti­tion.

Kil­loughey feel the strain.

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