VYING FOR a place in the SAYFC tug o'war national finals, competitors will be #pullingfortheteam this Saturday, June 1, when the regional heats take place across Scotland. The top teams will then go forward to the spectacular finals at the Royal Highland Show.

Last year the grand finale was a colourful event, with new tops introduced by Davidson and Robertson who sponsored the event for the first time and are continuing to do so.

Managing director Martin Hall said: “We seized the rope last year because the SAYFC is a fantastic movement nurturing rural leaders and farmers of the future. We wanted to reflect the energy and the strength of young farmers pulling as a team. Feedback from those taking part last year was amazing and we’re delighted to have made a long-term commitment to the event.”

The finals, held on Saturday June 22 in the cattle judging rings, will be a noisy and passionate affair, with teams keen to topple the long-standing champions – Biggar Men, who have held the title for eight years, and Ayr Ladies, who have won eight out of the last ten years.

D and R land agent David Paterson has been a member of the winning Biggar YFC Men’s team seven times. He said: “The tug o'war competition is a great training ground for working life – it requires hard work, dedication and you’ve got to be a team player. It’s quite something to take the strain when your work colleagues are watching!”

Commenting on the event, SAYFC national chair Kim Taylor said: “We’re really pleased that D and R are continuing their sponsorship and building awareness with #pullingfortheteam which they introduced at last year’s tug of war finals.

“Taking the strain at the Royal Highland Show has also proved to be a springboard for international success. The Scottish Ladies National Team included competitors from Ayr, Biggar and Keith YFCs – every member of the team had links with SAYFC.”

Social media hashtag #pullingfortheteam was introduced by D and R to help build social media momentum around the event. It is a phrase since adopted by the Scottish Ladies tug o'war team who won a Gold Medal in the World Championships in South Africa last year.

RHASS fundraising and partnerships manager Jo Andrews commented: “Tug o'war is an iconic sport, strongly rooted in rural Scotland. This competition is a key part of the SAYFC calendar, bringing together clubs from across Scotland, building social bonds as well as competitive spirit. New sponsor D and R raised the bar last year so we are delighted they will be continuing as official sponsor for the coming years.

“The ringside is packed with past, present and future young farmers together with their families, watching the twenty teams take part. It’s a real spectacle which encourages people to get involved with the SAYFC in the future.”

The regional eliminators for the National SAYFC Tug of War final take place this Saturday – the North Region at the Cornhill Highland Games; the West Region at Gargunnock Show; and the East region at West Fife Show.