(PICTURE: World Champ Roedolf Robertson and his exceptionally proud mother Tanja)
Local lad Roedolf Robertson and his teammates are the Tug-of-War World Champions!
Roedolf’s team is in the 560 kg weight class and they competed in two sets of championships held in Holten in the Netherlands. The first was the Tug-of-War International Federation Club Championships held on Thursday, 15 Sept. Taking part as Club Oakdale, they pulled against 13 Clubs from different countries. Tug-of-war competitions are decided on a ‘best of three’ basis and the team won all their pulls 2 – 0. This earned them the World Club Champions title.
As if this wasn’t a big enough feather in their collective cap, on Saturday, 17 September the team took part at the Closed World Championships, representing South Africa as the Protea National Team. Only eight countries qualified – France, Thailand, Netherlands, Germany, England, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and South Africa.
The team pulled against all seven countries, winning 2 – 0. In the Semi-final they were up against the home team Netherlands, and then met Chinese Taipei in the final.
This was certainly no pushover! The first pull against the Chinese team lasted over 10 minutes – an exceptional length of time in tug-of-war terms, and the second pull took just over five minutes. The South Africans won both pulls and were crowned World Champions.
“Roedolf has worked hard,” says proud mother Tanja, “They practice three hours a day, then there’s weekend practice camps, and all this in between doing his matric exams!”