Garvagh tug of war team features in BBC Northern Ireland show 'True North: Pull'

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A BBC NI show has followed one of Ulster's oldest sports teams throughout a competitive season of tug of war.

'True North: Pull' features the renowned Garvagh team as they take part in a “punishing test of strength, endurance and strategy”.

This story of two teams, one rope, one winner has been produced by Alleycats, with support from Northern Ireland Screen's Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund.

The Garvagh team was formed in 1971 and has competed on many occasions at UK, European and World levels during this time.

'True North: Pull' features the renowned Garvagh team as they take part in a “punishing test of strength, endurance and strategy”.'True North: Pull' features the renowned Garvagh team as they take part in a “punishing test of strength, endurance and strategy”.
'True North: Pull' features the renowned Garvagh team as they take part in a “punishing test of strength, endurance and strategy”.

The team enjoyed success at last year's British and Irish Outdoor Tug of War Championships, securing a silver medal at the event in Swansea.

The tug of war community in Northern Ireland is built on a foundation of tradition, heritage and a sense of shared sacrifice amongst its committed teams.

This is no fairground game or sports day side attraction – this is war!

The documentary follows the team from the first weigh-in right through to the pinnacle of the pulling calendar, the Northern Ireland Championships, all under the watchful eye of experienced coach Kenny Moore.

Nelson Hanna uncovers the incredible history of tug of war in Garvagh as he shares stories with his father Fred, a former puller for the legendary Aghadowey team.

Nelson’s Garvagh teammate, Steven, has spent a lifetime in the sport and shares his highs and lows on the rope, as well as his substantial medal haul.

But, for both competitors, there is only one medal that matters – a gold in the Northern Ireland Championships.

In order to take home the spoils, Garvagh must overcome local rivals Bancran.

Coach Kenny and his Garvagh team must push themselves to the limit if they want to topple Bancran and bring the gold back to Garvagh.

There will be plenty of late nights spent together on the rope and countless brutal hours of training, right up until the last moments before the finals, when the team will attempt to sweat out the last few pounds in the sauna.

All roads lead to Portrush, host venue of the Northern Ireland Championships. Will Coach Kenny lead his team to the top of the podium or will familiar foes Bancran prevail?

True North: Pull is available to watch now on the BBC iPlayer.