Heath and Reach sportswoman and tug of war team launch England kit appeal
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Amy John, 26, is a proud member of the Bedfordshire Tug of War (TOW) Ladies group who have been selected to play at the British and Irish games in Swansea on August 13.
However, the players are now appealing for funding, because at £250 per person, the 'England' uniform doesn't come cheap.
Amy told the LBO: "We are just so excited about everything. Being asked to represent your country in the sport you love is just fantastic; it’s an honour to be asked and to feel that our blood, sweat and tears are finally paying off.
"The fundraising is important, because the cost is just crazy.
"Other countries out there get help from the government, but in this country we have to self fund it all - from our standard team kit for Bedfordshire TOW, to entering each competition week in, week out."
As well as a new kit, the ladies will also need to buy smart tracksuits and travel wear, as well as paying for a two night hotel stay and travel expenses.
Amy explained: "We need to be there for the weigh in on the Friday and compete on the Saturday and Sunday."
Bedfordshire TOW was founded in 2019 as a men's team, with the ladies group established in 2020.
Its members train in a field just outside of North Crawley, using equipment including a gantry, concrete slats, and a sledge (for putting weights on and pulling round the field).
Amy added: "Most of us got into it through our young farmers as it's a big sport there, whereas others had never picked up a rope before.
"We love it because of a few things, but fitness and teamwork would be the main two reasons. We train hard on the rope but we also make sure we have fun."
The team competed in tough league competitions to qualify for the nationals, and after a "tense few weeks" received the call they had been waiting for.
Amy said: "Last year our boys got asked to represent, but finally it’s the girls time to shine!"
To help the team reach its £2,000 target, you can donate via: https://www.gofundme.com/f/bedfordshire-tug-of-war-team