Top teams dug their heels in during a survival of the UK’s fittest on Saturday.
Tug of war teams from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland went head-to-head in the UK Tug of War Championships at Huddersfield Sports Centre.
The championship, organised and adjudicated by the Tug of War Association (ToWA), featured national and club battles in 600kg and 680kg classes alongside club battles in the 640kg class.
Winning the 600kg international class was England, represented by Norton club, Staffordshire, while Scotland A took the 680kg class.
Silver medals went to Scotland A in the 600kg class and England A, represented by Uppertown club, Derbyshire, in the 680kg class.
In the club classes Norton scored a clean sweep winning all three categories while Scottish club, Tinto, took silvers in the 640kg and 680kg classes.
Meanwhile, Ayrshire Club won the silver in the 600kg class.
While tug of war is still an amateur sport, competitors at this level take it very seriously.
Alan Knott, ToWA spokesman and member of Kilroe club, Penistone, said: “Teams train two or three nights a week doing rope work and on the other nights they go to the gym to keep up the fitness.”
Tug of war isn’t just about brute force either, it’s about fitness and team co-ordination too.
Alan added: “It’s important to be a team but you have to be fit and maintain a good diet.
“When you watch a team pulling you watch them working together.
“It’s a bit like a rowing team. Your legs have to move at the same time and you need all-round body strength.”
TUG OF WAR FACTS
A tug of war team consists of eight pullers plus a coach and a trainer.
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.
Rules include facing forwards with both hands on the rope, not sitting down and not locking the rope across your body.