About Us

1. History of Tug of War

The first recorded tug of war events date back 2,500 years to agricultural festivals in Korea. Later versions date back more than a millennium to competitions between Vikings where the sport then migrated to other parts of northern Europe. The sport developed independently in many areas of the world influenced through travel and colonization. From these ancient roots comes the rural tradition of the tug of war, one side of the grand tradition that is still followed in many nations around the world.

The name of the sport, however, comes from the other side of the tradition. The name Tug-O-War came from those crews that hauled on the ropes to power the Man-O-War Ships. From that it became known as the Tug of War. After the coming of the steamships it became a way to keep the crew fit. In India the English army put it on the grass, and it quickly became a source of great rivalry between regiments. It progressively became the favorite sport of other ranks, who brought it back to England. On leaving the army they took it with them into the police forces and the Fire brigades and into the factories. Soon it spread across the whole country, displacing anything that had been before. So popular was it that it was included in the first modern Olympics in 1900.

Thousands of years after it first started and hundreds since it became organized the tradition remains. The terms number one, anchorman, take the strain and steady are all words straight off the decks of naval ships in 1588.

A pull in the 1904 Olympics


Mission Statement

We are committed to increasing participation of Canadians in the sport of Tug of War, to helping them to become an international success and to challenging them to realize personal excellence. In doing so we seek to positively impact our communities by building into our participants those values that are inherent in our sport.

Core Values

The following values are core to our mission. They provide the lens through which we envision our objectives and our future:

Leadership – Enabling participants to succeed by providing sound development programs and membership support guided by responsible, qualified coaches, officials and administrators.

Fairness – Providing programs, training and competitions that are fair, ethical, transparent and accessible.

Inclusiveness - Making the sport accessible to anyone regardless of whom, what or where they are, what resources they lack, or any other challenge they face.

Teamwork – Cooperative efforts among club members on the field and among partners to achieve common goals, improving individually and collectively. Athletes are at the centre of the process from which our programs and policies are conceived and implemented.

Pursuit of Excellence – Thinking and acting in a focused, constructive manner to achieve excellence at all levels of participation. It is the pursuit as much as the realization of excellence that makes us better on and off the field.

Vision Statement

Tug of war is ideal for personal and group development in any community. It is easy to do yet difficult to do well. It builds dedication, teamwork, discipline, strength and stamina. It is aggressive yet it is very safe; it is non-contact and non-violent. It is competitive yet starting out in it requires little equipment and no special facilities. It has divisions for people of any size, either gender and almost any age. It offers many benefits with little risk or cost.

We collaborate with experienced athletes as well as responsible, qualified coaches, officials and administrators to conceive and implement programs furthering our mission. These programs make more communities familiar with our sport; our sport more accessible to them; participation in it fun, safe and fair. By extension our sport will become more relevant to and popular among Canadians.