Why is it called ‘welly wanging’/’wellie wanging’ and why should I wang my wellies anyway?
Well, for starters, it’s great fun. Most people appreciate seeing large PVC boots spin through the country air and land with a muddy splat 50 yards away… and most people who see this for the first time, whether they are wearing old worn-out wellies or expensive designer fashion wellies, want to pull off their own pair and have a go. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old – whether you are very athletic or a couch potato – this kind of competitive fun grips us all. But it’s not just fun…
Welly wanging is essentially Olympic javelin throwing without the risk of an incident à la Tero Pitkämäki, which means it is safe and easily accesible for all ages and abilities, yet provides an excellent opportunity for some serious competitiveness for those who like a challenge. Boot-throwing has been around for a long time in various European countries and places like Taihape in New Zealand, but the village of Upperthong in England managed to catch the imagination of those in the UK and other countries with their quinissentially British approach to the sport: yes, it is fun and even a bit funny, but sport is sport and welly wanging can be a seriously competitve affair!
As for the name: who knows why the British decided to adopt the word ‘wang’ to mean ‘throw’, but the catchy alliteration for this sport alone is reason enough.