Members of South Africa’s bronze medal winning tug-of-war team at the World Games in Cali, Colombia are hoping that their success story will help the sport move out of it’s current ‘Cinderella’ status back home.
The women’s team beat Switzerland 2-0 in the bronze medal competition to win Team SA’s third medal at the Games after lifesaving won two on Saturday.
Said captain Kobie Phillips: “It’s amazing how this team have come together since 2009. I’m so proud of the girls… it’s just such a great feeling.”
Manager Anton Gerber, also with the team in Taiwan that were left shellshocked after just two months of planning; “What an absolutely amazing journey to this medal. It’s been extremely hard work, sacrifices and even tears but this makes it all so much more worthwhile. Right now though it still hasn’t sunk in properly. Maybe tonight,” he grinned.
Yolandi Rabe, one of the newcomers to the team, had already started smiling broadly before the final victory mark had been reached: “I couldn’t help it, because you get to know just how close the victory is and we could feel it Hopefully this boost our sport’s status and prove to South Africa that tug-of-war is not just “boeresport.”
Conditioning coach John McGrath, a former international Irish rower, was over the moon: “This is a watershed moment for SA tug-of-war and this medal should hopefully go a long way to giving it a whole lot more publicity and profile.”
Last word to young Kim Carstens from Muizenberg in the Cape, and daughter of SA Tug-of-War publicist Lesley: “Here’s hoping that this will encourage more and more people to take up tug-of-war! And anyone who thinks this is an easy sport is more than welcome to come and train with us and see for themselves… “