On Thursday 14 July, the Belgian National Tug of War team will compete for a podium place at the World Games in Birmingham, USA. No fewer than four members of TTV Vantakar from Sint-Lennards will be in action at 8.30pm. Followed on the big screen at Jeugdhuis Den Dijk.
Brothers Joris and Dries Vermeeren and Jori Janssens pull the national rope. Matthias Arnoutz Referee (Official). Not surprisingly, treasurer Stijn Van Tichelt said all four came from Sint-Lenaarts team TTV Vandakker.
“Every year we participate in two or three international tournaments. We will always be in the European Championship. However, it is still a hobby and there is nothing to be earned from tug-of-war at the national and even international level. BOIC now contributes to travel expenses and materials for the World Games.
The World Games is the Olympic Games for about 70 non-Olympic sports. Besides tug-of-war, these include inline skating, taekwondo, handball and squash. The World Games are also held every four years, one year after the Olympic Games.
Until July 17, 75 Belgian athletes will compete on a stage with athletes from all over the world in Birmingham, USA. So four of them are from Sint-Lenaarts. The Belgian team was selected for last year’s World Cup in the Spanish Basque Country with three athletes and one official from our team.
The Belgian team consists of two athletes from TTV Mertensmannen Hoogstraten and six from TTV Fam. Janssens Retie vzw. There are also tug-of-war teams in Merksplas, Ravels and Wuustwezel, and a focus on youth players and promises in Overbroek (TTV De Powerrangers). “Kempans were the main suppliers of rope-pulled ploughs, which are still commercially practiced in this region.
If you want to cheer on a Belgian tug-of-war or just soak up the atmosphere and get to know the game a little better, you’re welcome at Jeugdhuis Den Dijk from 7.30pm. The match will continue on the big screen at 8.30 pm there. “If the Belgians make it to the final, they will continue to compete in the middle of the night,” says Van Dyselt. I hope it will be a long evening.
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