Some 800 tug-of-war champions and their supporters from 16 countries around the world are descending on Breaffy in February, bringing a unique event and an economic boost to the locality.
Teams from as far afield as Japan, China, Mongolia, Singapore, and South Africa will be in Mayo for five days to participate in the Indoor Tug-of-War World Championships between February 19 and 23 at the Breaffy House Resort.
It is the first time the world championships have been held in Ireland since 2006, when they took place in Killarney.
Dan McCarthy is the president of the Irish Tug of War Association. He said there was great excitement ahead of the tug-of-war showdowns.
“We’re hoping for a good turnout of spectators,” he said. “There will be at least 800 people from all over the world, made up of the international clubs and their followers, who are staying locally for five days. This will be a good economic boost for the area.”
Tug-of-war is a very popular sport, he added.
“In Ireland, we have 55 affiliated clubs and it is popular all over the world, as is evident from the spread of countries, 16 in all, who are taking part.”
The event will also see Ireland fighting to retain its current world title on home turf in the 680kg category.
Mr McCarthy is encourageing the public in Mayo to go along to see the tug-of-war events for themselves.
“Everyone is welcome,” he said. “The club events take place on Thursday and Friday and the world championships take place on Saturday and Sunday.”
For more information visit www.irishtugofwar.com