3 October 2016
The Army Cadets excels in the sport of Tug of War, so much so that the England under 23 Tug of War team is made up entirely of ACF cadets.
ACF cadets and adult volunteers were recently honoured with an invitation to take part in a Blue Peter show (29 September 2016) to talk about their sport and coach the Blue Peter presenters, and guest band The Tide, in the basics.
During the show the ACF mixed gender team split into ‘blue’ and ‘white’ teams (with the inclusion of Blue Peter presenters Radzi Chinyanganya and Barney Harwood, members of boy-band The Tide and CBBC staff) for a live Tug of War challenge, with the white team being declared the winners.
The visit to Blue Peter was just the latest in a series of high profile events this year. In June ACF cadets gave a demonstration ‘pull’ at the annual House of Lords vs House of Commons charity Tug of War event in Aid of Macmillan Cancer support.
Earlier in June the team took part in the Army Tug of War Championships in Wiltshire under the supervision of coaches Maj Alec Masson (Glos ACF) and Capt Tim Tatler (Devon ACF). Despite being allowed to enter just two weight categories, men’s 560kg and 600kg, the team produced some outstanding pulling, finishing the day by winning the 600kg weight class and coming runner up in the 560kg class.
About the sport: The Tug of War Association (ToWA) organises men’s, women’s and youth competitions. Mixed teams and men’s teams pulling against women’s teams are not allowed in championship events, but mixed gender pulling is quite common in open competitions.
A Tug of War team consists of eight pullers plus a coach and a trainer. The coach is the only person in the arena (apart from the judge) who may address remarks to the team during a pull. All pulls are conducted under the control of a ToWA judge. Pulls are best of three, the choice of first end being decided by the toss of a coin. The object is to pull the opposing team a distance of four metres.
Tug of War competitions are organised in weight classes where each team of eight pullers must not exceed the stated weight. Weight classes start at 560 kilos for men and 520 kilos for women.