Updated 30thJanuary 2023
Armagh City Hotel provided excellent facilities on Saturday for Northern Ireland Armwrestling to host the Irish Open. The British contingent was much reduced, probably due to bar bills that got ran up 2 weeks ago in Carlingford. Strong support from Ireland made up for it with some great battles & a lot of fun throughout the day & after. The live stream was hosted & is available on the Armgods channel - Marcus Thompson joined us in person to oversee the celebrations. Lounging on the couch singing karaoke style along to Johnny Cash whilst drunken battles were being held on the main stage is something I that will fondly recall forever. I could go on, but you had to be there.
Thanks as always to those who made it happen - Stan, Davy, Rab, Scorers Kath, Emily & Joy, Refs Adrian, Kestutis, Ashley, Rob & Ernestas. (Stan, Davy & Rab took ref turns too). Pinkertons provided sponsorship to pay for the venue & gave out packs of bacon which were eagerly received. I forgot to pack the George Foreman grill, so reluctantly had to pass. The support from Warehouse Gym was something Stanley highlighted in his closing speech & it isn't often realised how much of a massive influence in developing the sport in Ireland is due to that so thanks Kyle.
Next stop for me is Boston, Lincs for Steelarm, organised by Hightower. If it's not the first armwrestling event in Lincolnshire, it's the first for a long while. Hightower is bringing in some serious challengers for his team - he told me he wants to test them - & some special guests too. It promises to be a good event which is why we're launching the Woodthorpe Warzone just up the road two weeks later. Right on the seaside so another excuse to con the family into a day out with a tournament that just happens to be in the same vicinity. As always details & links can be found on the Events Calendar. The poster for the Scotland event in August has also arrived, so look at that as well.
Having a packed events calendar is good for the sport, if there are more events & tournaments then more people notice & want a piece of the action. The tournament winners will want to test themselves against others, the almost theres will want to redouble their efforts to get the gold & some of the also rans who survived will get the bug & start to think about what to do to be better. What it might do in the short term is dilute numbers - with more choice & high cost of living there is less incentive to travel. That creates opportunity too. I remember Todd Zilla saying that "those who are doing what you won't are doing what you can't," & that goes for everything. Get out as much as you can, especially if it is in your back yard. Take on the world & see where it gets you.
Andrew Rattlesnake Smith has been in touch, swiftly renewing PAA membership to take advantage of the discounted entry fee to tournaments & into the draw for a 2024 free entry to all PAA events. Andrew remembers winning Armwrestler of the Year in 2019 at the BAF Pro Nationals & wants to see the award reinstated. He also suggested we revive the club of the year trophy, both to be presented at our Pro Nationals in November. Is that something the rest of you agree with? And what should be the criteria for club of the year? Picking one armwrestler out of the multitude of talent is also a difficult task. So some suggestions on who & how would be welcome, via the get in touch button above right or some other means that suits you.
A note from the treasurer for those paying memberships by Paypal - please don't tick the business box as we are a non profit organisation & we get charged. Be friendly & tick the friends box.
Anyone trying to telephone me in the next few days may feel more ignored than usual - I left my phone along with the skin of my elbow in Armagh, so it's messenger, message in a bottle, carrier pidgeon, telepathy or better - use the get in touch button above right.