A native Donegal man has gone one giant step closer to fulfilling his lifetime ambition after his bid to host the word indoor Tug of War championship was successful at the recent congress of the International Tug of War Federation held in Belfast.
Big Danny McGonigle has dedicated his life to the sport he loves and to his local Clonmany club which he will be a member of for 40 years next year. Danny always dreamt of bringing the World championship to his native Donegal and realised that it could become a reality after the 1999 championship which were hosted successfully by Ireland in Carlow.
A committee was formed to put a bid together for the 2014 championship which Danny was the chairman off backed by Cormac Gallagher a Letterkenny business man and a number of other local people. Unfortunately the 2014 bid was unsuccessful with the championships going to the Breaffy house in Co. Mayo. Danny did not loose heart and continued to work tirelessly and together with businessman James McGinley and the committee put together a bid which could not be refused on this occasion.
The World indoor championships which were held earlier this year in the Netherlands takes place every two years and will take place at the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny in February 2020.
Danny explained to us that the championships are a big event and will attract up to 1000 athletics from around the World to Letterkenny, “we will have teams competing from as far away as Asia over the four day event.” “The championships are run over four days with the first two dedicated to club competitions and the international championships take place on the Saturday and Sunday”.
Donegal has always been a stronghold for indoor Tug of War particularly in Inishowen and Danny is confident that we can pack the venue for the four day event which will be a big boost to the town of Letterkenny bringing so many visitors to the town. Danny and the team will be knuckling down and beginning preparations for the event this year and they are confident that the people and businesses of Letterkenny will support them.
Danny continued by saying, “I’ll be stepping down from the club next year having served 40 years to concentrate my full efforts on the preparations for this event”, “I’d like to thank the committee and give special thanks to James McGinley of McGinley coaches who will be looking after airport transfers and accommodation for the athletics”
The first round of the national outdoor championships will be held in Donegal next month for the first time in around 15 years. The 720kg championship will be hosted at the Moville show on the 12th June in an event organised by Ultan Doherty another lifelong Tug of War veteran. For more information on the sport please visit www.irishtugofwar.com