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Goanna pulling championships this weekend

Ladies battle it out in last year’s Australian National Goanna Pulling Championships at Wooli. Image: Steve Young Photography

The best of the best will gather at the Wooli Sportsground this Sunday to determine this year’s Australian National Goanna Pulling Championship titles.

Nominations open 9am the morning of competition, with male and female competitors vying for titles in four divisions: heavyweight, middleweight, lightweight, and tyro (under 15).

Male and female titles attract equal prizemoney, with the $500 top prize going to heavyweight winners.

The sport involves two competitors facing off against one another in a test of strength and technique. They lay prone facing one another, propped up on their arms, like the stance of a goanna. Either end of a double-loop leather strap is put over the heads of each competitor and they attempt to pull one another over a line that separates them.

Wooli has been home to the national championships of this unusual sport since 1986, and has become a festival-like event for the village drawing visitors from around Australia.

This year will include more than 50 market stalls, carnival rides and attractions, and a range of other events testing strength speed and skill including tug-o-war, sprint races, brick carrying competitions, and a woodchop. All events carry cash prizes.
Organisers have thanked the community for a high level of support this year, especially through sponsorship.