The first quarter of 2016 have flown past with a lot of activity within TWIF.
Unfortunately the year 2016 started on a very sad note with the passing of Rosemary Smith (Wales) in January. She was a stalwart of the TWIF family for many years and will be sorely missed. Again our condolences to Michael (Smudger) Smith, the family and the Welsh Tug of War Association for their loss. A tribute to the life and contribution of Rosemary to TWIF over a very long period, has been printed in the latest TWIF e-Magazine which is available on the web-site.
The proverbial Annus horibillis continued when we heard equally sad news from Ireland when another stalwart and past President of their Association, Eddie Hubbard, passed away. From South Africa we were informed of 3 tragic accidents which led to the untimely death of 3 young pullers. Our hearts go out to all the families and friends who have also lost loved ones over this period.
On the positive side we had a very successful TWIF Indoor Championship in the Netherlands during the 3rd week of February. It was an excellent competition with top class performance both in the open and closed weight classes. The event was very ably hosted by the Dutch Association (NTB) in the beautiful Volendam. Feedback has been very positive from everybody who attended. The full results are available on the TWIF web-site whilst the medals ranking has been published in the latest TWIF e-Magazine.
Congratulations also to the 6 countries – China, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa and Ireland who have qualified for the World Games 2017 in Poland in the 540 Kg Women’s Indoor weight class.
Attention now moves to the TWIF Congress end of April where delegates will deliberate a wide spectrum of issues to move our sport forward. A key item on the agenda is the new TWIF Policy Plan for the period 2016 to 2020 mapping the strategies and activities of TWIF over the next 4-5 years. A very interesting debate is expected during the seminar prior to congress where future regional TWIF events other than in Europe; pro-active steps to address the image and presentation of the sport going forward; and the possible opening up of tender opportunities for future TWIF events, will be discussed.
Contracts for the 2017 European Championship (England) and the 2 World events in 2018 (Indoor in China in February; Outdoor in South Africa in September) will be signed during the congress.
The next TWIF Championships, Malmo in Sweden in September, is also starting to appear on the radar screen. In my recent discussions with the organisers it seems as if everything is under control and that we can (again) look forward to an excellent event hosted by the Swedish Association. With the men’s 640 Kg and 700Kg events also being qualifiers for the World Games, the World Outdoors will no doubt be a fiercely contested event. Accreditations for Malmo will be opened via the TWIF website at the end of May.