Pictured (l-r) John Tully Chief Executive WPFG, Colin Ward, Prison Service, Stephen Welsh, PSNI, Caral Ni Chuilin, Sports Minister, Chris Kerr, Chief Fire Officer NIFRS and Lindsey Elwoord, Ultimate FireFighter NIFRS.
Northern Ireland has now begun its countdown in earnest towards hosting the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) in 365 days. Competitors can also now begin planning travel itineraries and book accommodation with today’s publication of the sports schedule which maps out the dates and duration of each of the 66 sports taking place from 1st-10th August next year. The World Police and Fire Games will attract 10,000 competitors and a further 15,000 visitors from over 70 countries to Belfast and a variety of locations throughout Northern Ireland.
John Tully, Chief Executive 2013 WPFG explains: “It is now 5 years since Belfast was announced as the 2013 host following a lengthy competitive process. Preparations have been going on at a steady pace since then and much has already been achieved. The WPFG team is now working full time on every aspect of Games delivery. In the last couple of months we have hosted a very successful visit by the WPFG Federation which enabled us to finalise and announce the 41 preferred venues for the 66 sports; with partners BVCB we have secured over £1million accommodation revenue; and we have agreed significant sponsorship from companies including Fujitsu, Deloitte, Northern Bank and Kukri.”
“Today on our website (www.2013wpfg.com/2013-sports) we have also published next year’s sports schedule which will enable potential participants to plan their trips to both compete and maximise leisure time in Northern Ireland. Whilst competitors can now focus on their own individual plans for the Games, we are now looking forward to further milestones when we launch the campaign to attract over 3,500 volunteers; make the announcement of a comprehensive schools’ programme; unveil the title sponsor; and boost bookings for accommodation following confirmation of sports schedules. Overall we are well on target one year out and are confident that Northern Ireland will deliver the most successful and the friendliest Games ever.”
Sports Minister Carál Ni Chuilín said: “With only 365 days to go until the 2013 Games begin, we are entering an exciting time for the host city Belfast and the north. There is now a real sense of anticipation building around the Games. I have no doubt next year’s World Police and Fire Games will be a landmark event which will once again demonstrate all that this part of Ireland has to offer. The benefits the Games will bring should not be underestimated. 10,000 competitors will arrive here next year over the 10 days of the Games, bringing with them an additional 15,000 visitors. It will hopefully create a £20m boost for the local economy.”
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 almost three times the size of the Commonwealth Games in terms of competitor numbers.
Notes to Editors:
1. The World Police and Fire Games is a biennial event, which is organised for all ‘sworn law enforcement officers’ including police, fire, customs, prison service and some smaller enforcement agencies.
2. The World Police and Fire Games Federation which oversees the Games, is made up of serving and retired fire, police and prison officers from across the world. Their mission is to create community interaction with the emergency services, educate children on the benefits of sport, and develop camaraderie between emergency services from around the world.
3. The first World Police and Fire Games took place in San Jose in 1985
4. Belfast was announced as the WPFG 2013 host in 2007.