Sixteen countries assembled in Belfast over the period of the 10th to the 13th of April for our Annual Congress.The Ramada Hotel, situated on the outskirts of the city, provided a very fitting venue for the Congress.
As usual we had the Seminar on Friday morning which covered the issue of underage competitions followed by a very interesting and informative lecture by Dr. Sharon Madigan on nutrition and diet with associated weight loss.Dr. Madigan’s presentation has been forwarded to members and has also been placed on our website.
The final seminar topic concerned the proposed World Urban Games and the possibility of tug of war featuring therein.There was unanimous approval from the members for our participation and I have subsequently made a formal application to Sportaccord.
In the afternoon we had a conducted tour of the venue for the 2015 European Championships plus a look at some of the proposed accommodation for that event.
The Congress on Saturday followed the usual lines with reports from members of the Executive on a range of issues relevant to our well-being.
Two new members, namely Malaysia and Gambia,had applied for membership and had fulfilled the necessary requirements.There was a unanimous vote in favour of their acceptance as full members, subject to payment of the appropriate fee.
Several proposals were voted upon and details of these will be provided to the membership in due course by the Secretary General.
Exceptional work in the promotion of our sport outside their national borders was recognised by the presentation of The Presidents Award to South Africa and Latvia for their work on the African continent and Eastern Europe respectively. This is the first time such an award has been made.
On Saturday evening we were guests at a tour and reception at Belfast City Hall.This had been organised by the Northern Ireland Tug of War Association and was a most enjoyable experience.
In conclusion I would like to thank members for their attendance and participation and a special word of thanks to Northern Ireland officials for their organisation and hospitality.