Pullers’ tribute at Nesbitt event
IN a poignant reflection of the respect with which the late Nigel Nesbitt was held within the sport of tug-of-war, pullers from across Ireland made the trip on Saturday to Craigavon’s Goodyear Sports and Social Club.
Nesbitt’s death a decade ago left a significant void in the sport, bringing with it the loss of a tough competitor on the rope but extremely popular character around tug-of-war overall.
Nesbitt started his association with tug-of-war as part of Richhill’s outdoor group but eventually made a switch to the indoor discipline under the colours of Ballyhegan.
Ballyhegan hosted last weekend’s Nigel Nesbitt Memorial in tribute - with Richhill, Fermanagh-based Country Club, Leo’s Boys of Benburb and three cross-border clubs on board across the 560-kilo, 600-kilo and 640-kilo weight divisions.
It was fitting that Nesbitt’s two former clubs - Ballyhegan and Richhill - booked spots in the 640-kilo showdown for his memorial trophy. Members of the Nesbitt family made the final presentation to Ballyhegan following an entertaining showpiece.
The open sections were won by clubs from the Republic of Ireland.
“Nigel was such a warm character who loved the sport and was respected and liked across tug-of-war,” said Cathal McKeever, the Tug of War International Federation president and Ballyhegan club chairman. “He would often be found at competitions chatting away to people from other clubs and his death at 42 years old was a tragic loss for his family and friends.
“The memorial competition has been in operation for a number of years and Clonmany came up from Donegal as the defending champions.
“It was wonderful to see the effort put in, especially given the weather conditions.
“We also had Carndonagh from Donegal and a club based around the Dublin area called Mountain View.
“Those squads from the Republic of Ireland joined Ballyhegan, Richhill, Country Club and Leo’s Boys so it was an excellent entry list and superb standard of competition.
“Essentially the pullers expected to compete at the forthcoming United Kingdom Championships in Belfast were on show in Goodyear.”
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Weather for Portadown
Thursday 23 May 2013
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