Tug of War
Tug of War

Tug of War

01/08/2023 (Staff Post - Alan McNiven )

I spent a few days in Kirkcudbright recently and attended a ‘Scottish Themed’ night in the town square – lots of pipes and dancing and a lot of fun. Towards the end of the evening the MC announced that the tug of war would soon be taking place and he was inviting all the tourists from around the world that he had been talking to earlier to come up and ‘take the strain’. Young men from Mexico, Nottingham, New York, France, and Portugal etc. obliged and were given one end of the rope to hold - twelve of them in total. The MC then said:

‘I’d like to invite the undefeated Kirkcudbright team to take the strain’ and at that an army of children from all over the square ran to the pick up the rope – tons of wee people in a coordinated attack! And with a few ‘heaves’ the visitors were quickly vanquished by the Kirkcudbright Kid’s team. It was community action in actio and it was wonderful!

Tug of war is an excellent analogy for community empowerment as it highlights the power and strength that can be achieved when individuals come together, united by a common goal – a coordinated effort of the team members, working together towards a shared objective – a shared objective in this case of dragging some visitors through the town square… The team members – who were aged around 4 to 14 - encouraged and motivated each other to keep pulling, fostering a sense of belonging  and showed a brilliant willingness to actively participate in a community initiative. The combined strength of all the young team members was of course greater than what any individual member could achieve alone - a collective power for a positive outcome – and it was hilarious.

Later when I was walking back to where we were staying I found this badge:

I wore it with pride to the pub…

Don’t forget the next meeting of the Renfrewshire Community Wellbeing Network takes place on the 19th August. See here for more details and to sign up:


All the best – speak soon


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