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World Police and Fire Games mark six months to go

Jan 31

Written by:
31 January 2013  RssIcon

The World Police and Fire Games mark six months to go with over 2,000 athletes already registered and in excess of £2million of accommodation booked.  In addition, a six week volunteer recruitment campaign which aimed to attract 3,500 volunteers surpassed all expectations with 6,400 registrations.  In just 184 days Northern Ireland will welcome 10,000 competitors and a further 15,000 visitors from up to 70 countries to compete in one of the largest multi-sport events in the world.  From 1st-10th August the World Police and Fire Games will feature 57 sports in 42 venues in Belfast and across Northern Ireland.

John Tully, Chief Executive 2013 WPFG explains, “As the countdown to August really gets underway I am delighted to see how much progress has been made towards a successful Games delivery.  Online registration for athletes is now starting to gather momentum and it is particularly pleasing to see the interest shown by the international competitors.  We already have representation from 44 countries with 42% of those registered coming from USA, Canada and Australia.  Advance parties of athletes from Holland, Germany, Canada, USA, Spain and the UK have become terrific ambassadors for the Games using social media and personal contacts to spread the word about the people, places and positive experiences they have had in Northern Ireland.”
“Local people have also shown their support for the Games by the remarkable response we have had to the volunteer recruitment drive which attracted 3,000 more people than projected.  Corporate Northern Ireland is also backing the Games through sponsorship either in kind or in cash.  Local companies such as Fujitsu, Deloitte, Danske Bank, Coca Cola, Kukri, Fonacab, Ramada Plaza, Diageo, are all making significant contributions.”
“We have also had great support from our partners DCAL, PSNI, NI Fire and Rescue, NI Prison Services, NITB, Sport NI  and Belfast City Council who, with us, are working hard to ensure that Northern Ireland will deliver the most successful and the friendliest Games ever.”
“Our next focus is to further roll out the schools’ programme across Northern Ireland which will link up international competitors with local school children.  We will also be facilitating activities for our official charities SOS BUS NI, NI Cancer Fund for Children and SENAC.  All this while continuing the ongoing work of preparing venues, co-ordinating accommodation requirements, managing logistics and promoting the Games and Northern Ireland to as wide an audience as possible.”
“Whilst our team is confident about progress to date, an even more powerful endorsement came recently from Steve Gill, Northumbria Police Service, who, after a seven day visit in January with an international group of athletes, said, “Over the years, with my role as Team Manger for Police Sport UK Track and Field, and as a competing athlete, I have travelled all over the world and enjoyed the hospitality of many countries.  My visit to Northern Ireland has made all of these trips seem quite amateur.  The professionalism of the WPFG and NITB staff was outstanding.  The friendliness of everyone we met throughout, and the service we were given was second to none.  I would recommend everyone to visit Belfast and Northern Ireland to see it for themselves.”
Sport Minister Carál Ni Chuilín said, “After several years of planning we are now in the home straight, with the Games only a matter of months away. This is an exciting time for Belfast and the north of Ireland. With the City of Culture already off to a successful start in Derry we will look to continue the momentum through to the beginning of the Games in August, and beyond. Ten thousand participants and an additional 15,000 friends are expected to come to the north during the Games  - a real opportunity to show the world what we have to offer. I am confident that everyone who visits in August will have a fantastic time and will remember the 2013 Belfast Games as the friendliest Games ever. ”
Northern Ireland will be only the third European host in the Games history which were last held in New York in 2011.  WPFG is the third largest international multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics and the World Masters.  It is a biennial event which is organised for all “sworn law enforcement officers” including police, fire, customs, prison service and some smaller enforcement agencies.
Information about the Games is available at or follow or

Picture Caption
Prison Officer, Eric Winterbottom (left), one of Northern Ireland’s most successful competitors in the World Police and Fire Games with 14 medals won in six consecutive Games, marks six months to go for the 2013 Games with 2013 WPFG Chief Executive, John Tully.  Over 2000 athletes from 44 countries have already registered.

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