490 children in Tonbridge hope to have set a new Guinness World Record for tug of war

A new world record may have been set at the weekend.

A tug of war at the Tonbridge Racecourse Sports Ground on Sunday (June 30) saw 490 children take part in a challenge to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest rope used.

Limbering up for the challenge at the Tonbridge Tug of War
Limbering up for the challenge at the Tonbridge Tug of War

The challenge was the inspiration of three boys who wanted to use the occasion to raise money for the children’s charity War Child.

Owen Calvert, Freddie Smith and Otis Sampson, all aged 10, arranged for a specially long rope to be manufactured at The Historic Dockyard Chatham’s Master Ropemakers in an attempt to beat the previous world record of 518m.

Things did not go completely smoothly.

The rope, which was 600m long, proved too big to be wound out fully across the field, so the challenge was made using 558 metres of it, with some slack at the ends.

Strict instructions from Guinness required that no part touch the ground during the contest.

Otis, Owen and Freddie were delighted with the outcome
Otis, Owen and Freddie were delighted with the outcome

The willing contenders, who had come from right across the area, were divided into Red and Blue teams, and took part in three matches. The Red team won 3-0.

Owen’s father, Glen Calvert, said: “We are now gathering together all the evidence to submit to Guinness and hopefully, in about a month’s time, we will have a new world record confirmed.

“One thing I do know is that we certainly set a record for the world’s biggest knot - it took 90 minutes to unravel the rope after it was tipped off the back of the truck.”

The three boys, who play football together at Tonbridge Juniors, were said to be delighted with the outcome, which has already raised £3,600 for the charity at the time of writing, with more coming in.

At the end of the afternoon, they stood on chairs to thank everyone for taking part.

It was a hard-fought contest
It was a hard-fought contest

Mr Calvert said: “It has certainly inspired them.

“Now they have seen what they can do, they are working on an even bigger challenge for next year!”

That just leaves Mr Calvert with 600m of rope.

He said: “If anyone would like to make me an offer, they can email me on calvert9@gmail.com.”

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