While Tug of War may not be one of the front-running sports in the country, the former Olympic sport is a staple for 12 Bedford-based ladies who have made it all the way to the World Championships.
The Bedford Ladies Tug of War team won the right to represent England at the World Championships in Bilbao, Spain after winning the National Championships that were held in Oxfordshire.
There were 250 competitors from twenty clubs across the country at the event, with Bedford Ladies winning the title in all four weight classes of 500kg, 520kg, 540kg and 560kg.
Bedford Ladies are considered one of the strongest teams in the country, having won the National Championships on a number of occasions, including the last edition in 2019.
They went on to win bronze at the 2019 European Championships, representing England and will hope to achieve similar results in the Basque region of Spain in September.
Tug of War Association spokesman Alan Knott said, “It is practised at a serious level by our competitors, and whilst being amateurs, a lot of training is required to be successful.”
Mr Knott said: “We had a great day. While the weather was mixed and made the conditions difficult at times, we had some great competition, and it was great to see a lot of new teams and pullers, particularly ladies teams.
These achievements are made even more special by the fact that the side run the club themselves, with no official Government or National Lottery funding.
Despite this, the club continues to grow with five new members this year from the region.
The club are raising money to fund their World Championship bid by hosting a virtual event, where fundraisers can run, cycle or row the equivalent distance from Bedford to Bilbao.
You can donate to their campaign here: