NR Women’s Tug of War

New Ross, as many know, has a strong
history in tug of war. Many men that pulled
tug of war years ago still have the pride
today as they did back then to be wearing
the suede coat and representing New Ross.
All one has to do is ask someone about tug
of war and you’ll see the passion come to
life. Either they pulled or they grew up
watching someone pull. It has been a life
long tradition here in New Ross. Tug of
war has made memories that people hold
near and dear forever. Anyone that has
been involved in tug of war, when they hear
John Denver’s song ‘Thank God I’m a
Country Boy” it takes them back to a
certain time or place, a special memory and we all have come to know that as the “tug of war
So when the request went out for any ladies interested in starting the first ever New Ross women’s
team who would have thought that more than 10 would show up and become committed to it? July
12th is where it all began when we all took up the rope for the first time and learned that it was harder than it looked. But right from day one there was something special happening! Practices became 3 times a week and friendships started and memories began. When the ladies were asked what some of them remember the most: “Heels down, tits up! God damnittttt! Feel the burn! Come on ladies lean back Hard! Dig those heels in! Toes up! Turn and burn babbbbyyyy! LET’S GO GIRLS!! Eyes on your coach! HOW WE FEELIN GIRLS??” Wayne Mackinnon became our coach and his excitement the first time we
pulled at the New Ross Fairgrounds for the Fundraiser for Logan and Lauren was contagious. We will always remember his “pep talk” and him saying “I have my bling on girls”- shiny gum wrappers wrapped around his fingers so we could ‘see’ him better and Ally telling him to run his
skinny ass up that line! We had SO many laughs and then Wayne would say “Okay girls it’s time to get serious!” Practices were always an experience in themselves. Ally was often yelling “you
guys good?” or “how ya feelin?” “what are you doing up there I can feel everything back here!”
And there was always the banter between Ally aka ‘the ole mule’ and Jesse aka ‘Pumba’ which
cracked us up and then often Jesse would go sit with the children and say “come on now let’s watch
mommies pull”. The men’s team practiced the same nights as the women and we’d hear “You guys
are a bunch of animals!” and once someone watching commented “The girls are better than the
guys, they are all on the right angle” And we did work as a team! I remember one practice just before doing a scratch pull with the guys and everyone just standing around the ring and the kids running around and playing together and I paused to take in that moment and think this is more than just
a team, this has become a family. This is true Community pride. This is amazing.
Our second pull was at our Fair and it couldn’t have rained any
harder. The ring was a soupy mess of mud
but that didn’t stop us. The ladies pulled that
night with so much determination, Ally even
blew her boot apart! Our determination only
grew more and more. Falmouth has had 2
women’s teams for some time but until this
year they never had another team to pull
against. New Ross was the first to take up the challenge and now there is a team from Windsor area called Mike’s Team, Pictou has a team, and Milford. Six womens’teams in total now! And at the Pictou exhibition we faced off with more teams and the near win we had against Pictou just drove us harder. So many great memories from Pictou. The wigs lol and those stupid Pirates! Last weekend at the Windsor exhibition was our last pull together for this year and it was bittersweet. The ladies fought hard and came in 3rd overall. The videos of the pulls have been posted on the New Ross Tug of War Facebook group. The energy in the ring when they were pulling was electrifying!
It has been an honor to get to know these ladies and share these memories with them. We are
looking forward to next year already and hearing Wayne telling us to “take it down and hold it”
because all we really need is just 6 inches right girls? Haha.
Team Members: Holly Rafuse,
Lauren MacDonald, Erika
Reeves, Hannah Stevens,
Cheyenne Naugler, Candace
Gates, Mady Bent, Kimberley
Rafuse, Keisha Walker, Brooke
Bent, Ally Hiltz, Laura Broome
& Nicole Miles.
Coach Wayne MacKinnon