In memory of Rosemary Smith

When Rosemary Smith passed away on 24th January, 2016 it brought an end to a life time of devotion to tug of war in its widest context.

Rosemary’s tug of war involvement did, of course, begin with the Wales Tug of War Association. She assumed the mantle of National Secretary in the late 70’s when Eric Shorthouse stood down from that position and she held the Secretary’s job until her death, a span of over 40 years during which time she guided the Welsh Association through thick and thin, including the hosting of a  World Indoor championship in Cardiff at a time when that side of our sport was still in its relative infancy.

In August 2001 at a meeting of United Kingdom countries in Carmarthan Rosemary was appointed as Secretary of the UK Commission following in the capable footsteps of Peter Craft of England. That was a position she held until 2007 when she took over as Commission Chairman, a post she again held until her recent death. During those years she was very adept at regulating regional championships for the UK countries and assisted in establishing guidelines for the selection of a Great Britain team which was required when World Games representation became an issue.

Rosemary’s talents and work ethic were recognised in 2000 when she was appointed to the TWIF Technical Commission and followed the legendary Peter Baker as Secretary. The Technical Commission was, of course, the first commission established under the TWIF umbrella and had significant importance as an advisory body for the TWIF Executive. Once again Rosemary served as Secretary until 2015 and established a reputation for efficiency. Her record keeping was meticulous and the latter was called into play on numerous occasions when some previous corporate decision had to be revisited. She had a profound knowledge of all matters relating to the TWIF Judges Panel and that relating to Timekeepers/Recorders. She knew when birthdays were coming up relevant to Judges retirement and ensured that the appropriate clothing was available for new officials following their appointment. Her records were invaluable when judges were being selected for major events and her background knowledge ensured that fairness was always maintained. 

Rosemary performed the remarkable achievement of deep involvement with her National Association, the United Kingdom Commission and TWIF at the same time and for a sustained period. Equally significant she did so to the betterment of all and without allowing any conflict of interest to intrude.

To say that she was committed to tug of war would be a gross understatement. She has left her mark on our sport in no uncertain manner and this will be extremely difficult to replace fully.  I worked closely with Rosemary Smith for the vast majority of her tug of war involvement. Not only did she have the respect of delegates from far and wide but those who knew her well came to see her as a very warm hearted person.

I regarded her as my friend and will miss her deeply. May you rest in peace, Rosemary.





TWIF World Championship Entries

TWIF Clubs Championship Entries


World Championship Entries as of 7 July 2014

NEWS - 26/03/14

AGM 2014

AGM ......................Sunday 6th April 2014 at 2.00 pm prompt in the Leisure Centre, Penlan, Brecon, Powys.

There are proposals to be discussed at the AGM and the views and opinions of all teams would be appreciated especially of course the ladies teams, The aim is to promote the sport of Tug of War.

It is important that you pay your CLUB or INDIVIDUAL membership/affiliation before the AGM, as only affiliated members are permitted to talk on any matters under discussion at the AGM. Please contact Rose or Tracie for forms.

Affiliations 2014

Please can all clubs make sure they get their affialtion forms and money in as soon as possiable. Forms are available from Tracie or Rose.

Fixtures 2014

Once again PLEASE can All clubs get thei fixtures in as soon as possiable. Please see the fixtures page for available dates and updated dates. Please note this is a provisional fixture list and subject to change.




Paper received from TWIF in relation to various practices used by athletes in the run up to major championships.


I have been asked to comment on various practices of Tug of War athletes in the run up to major competitions. I do so as a general medical practitioner having had some discussion with Sports nutritionists and Sports Medicine physicians. My comments will be general comments on the pros and cons of these practices.

The Specific activities addressed are:

1. Diet restriction to reduce weight
2. Use of nutritional supplements
3. Fluid restriction to reduce weight
4. Use of sauna to reduce weight


Eating less can reduce weight however it stresses the body and starvation leads to the increase of the hormone cortisol which can encourage the body to maintain weight. It also can lead to the loss of muscle mass when the objective should be to lose fat weight.

In general athletes should take a well-balanced diet primarily carbohydrates (up to 60% of energy) fat and protein. It is further recommended that carbohydrates should be mainly from a group regarded as complex carbohydrates e.g. bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and vegetables.


The use of these supplements particularly protein supplements is thought to have the potential to cause kidney damage, osteoporosis and digestive problems especially if used long term. Realistically 500mls of skimmed milk or milk powder daily are an adequate source of protein supplement.

A further problem with supplements is level of regulation of them, with a potential for an athlete to consume a banned substance.

The National Athletic Trainer’s Association [based in the US] published a Position statement in 2013 – Evaluation of Dietary Supplements for Performance Nutrition. Several extracts of note:

“Athletes can be vulnerable to the misinformation and risk in terms of safety, legality and efficiency of dietary supplements and should not assume a product is safe simply because it is marketed over the counter.”

“Current regulations do not require supplement manufactures to provide evidence of safety.”

“Consider proper nutrition and changes in habitual diet first.”

“Do not forget to prioritise a healthy diet over dietary supplements to support performance.”


Fluid restriction to lose weight leads to dehydration which has a number of serious side effects. These risks are intensified if athletes undertake several days of intense fluid restriction. Dehydration leads to the loss of essential body components (e.g. sodium and potassium). Consequently dehydration can lead to a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. The loss of sodium and potassium can affect the functioning of the heart and potentially lead to sudden death.


Intensive use of sauna can lead to dehydration. As mentioned above this can have ill effects on heart functioning. Ultimately this will have negative effects on performance. A good level of hydration is essential for health and wellbeing.

My research has revealed evidence that the use of sauna for weight loss has potential detrimental effects on health and performance. Consequently should be limited and used in moderation. However no evidence was found supporting the idea of banning such practice.

It should be noted that horse racing facilities have removed sauna facilities from their establishments to try and minimise the risky activity of intense sauna use. Equally the sport of boxing has moved to discourage boxers from partaking in this activity.