About the game & The Next World Police and Fireman Games in 2019


In August 2013 we welcomed 7,000 competitors from 67 countries for the World Police & Fire Games (WPFG), the third largest international multi-sport event in the world and the largest sporting event to ever take place in Northern Ireland.


The WPFG is a biennial event for serving and retired police, fire, prison and border security officers comprising a wide range of individual and team sports. it was established by and organisation called the World Police & Fire Games Federation, based in San Diego, California.

It was a massive coup for Northern Ireland to win the right to stage the Games as it involved a very competitive process with numerous other cities bidding against Belfast. Indeed the 2013 event was the first time that they were hosted on the British Isles and only the third time in their 28 year history that they were hosted in Europe.

A company (2013 World Police & Fire Games Ltd) was set up to deliver the event. It was overseen by a Board of Directors Chaired by Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie, including representatives from partner organisations including DCAL, PSNI, NIPS, NIFRS, Belfast City Council, NITB and Sport NI, plus three independent nominees.

The Games was also privileged to have Dame Mary Peters acting as its Patron. Dame Mary’s tireless support and enthusiasm helped raise the profile of the Games and gave it credibility locally with people who had never heard of WPFG.


The Games captured the imagination of the Northern Irish public and proved to be a massive success. Almost every event was open to the public and free of charge. This was widely promoted, and as a result there were unprecedented numbers of spectators attending the events. The ice hockey competition alone, which took place in the Odyssey Arena and Dundonald Ice Bowl, had over 50,000 spectators through the turnstiles.

The support of the local population, helped enormously by the fantastic enthusiasm of the WPFG volunteer team, helped generate an electric atmosphere at WPFG venues.


The WPFG Volunteer Programme, managed by Volunteer Now on behalf of 2013 WPFG, resulted in the largest collection of volunteers ever for an event in Northern Ireland.


The overall aim of the company set up to deliver the event was to host the ‘friendliest Games ever’ and this was achieved. In fact the President of the World Police & Fire Games Federation, Mike Graham, confirmed at the Closing Ceremony that in his opinion Belfast had not only hosted the friendliest Games, but had also delivered the best Games ever.

The Next Games

The next Games for 2017 have unfortunately cancelled.  Please visit http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-fire-police-games-cancelled-1.3499036 for more information.

The next World Police and Fire Games for 2019 will be held in

July 28th – August 6th, 2019

Accommodations for the game

Belfast and Northern Ireland offers a range of great accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

Visit Belfast is the official accommodation booking partner for the World Police and Fire Games 2013. We are here to help you find the perfect place to stay at great rates.


Belfast City Centre Hotels Belfast City Centre tels
Belfast offers a range of great hotels close to the WPFG Athletes Village, Waterfront Hall (registration centre) and WPFG sports venues. A city centre location also means you have easy access to visitor attractions, restaurants and  bars.
Hotel Outside Belfast Hotels Outside of Belfast
If your WPFG sport is outside Belfast, we have a great selection of hotels across Northern Ireland including, Portrush, Newcastle, Bangor, Newry, Warrenpoint, Rostrevor, Londonderry/Derry and Lisburn’
Self Catering And BB Self-catering and bed & breakfast accommodation
If you want a home-from-home experience then self-catering accommodation may be for you. We have a great range of options in Belfast and across Northern Ireland.
Queensresized Campus Campus and hostel accommodation
Campus accommodation is a great option if you are travelling as part of a large group or looking to meet other WPFG competitiors.
Pavillian Camping And Caravaning Camping and caravan sites
We have camping and caravan sites available for WPFG competitors.


WPFG accommodation bookings are managed on our behalf by Visit Belfast.

The Accomodation Team is here to help find you the perfect place to stay at great rates during WPFG 2013.


For accommodation enquiries please email our team at WPFGAccommodation@visit-belfast.com or call us on 0044 28 9024 5829.


Exclusive accommodation rates for WPFG competitors and visitors

Belfast Visitor _ Convention Bureau (BVCB) and the Belfast Welcome Centre are managing accommodation bookings for the Games, including exclusive accommodation offers

Download the exclusive accommodation offers brochure
Book WPFG accommodation online
Download accommodation booking guidelines
Download the 2013 WPFG venue map
The Belfast Welcome Centre is also the one stop shop for Belfast and Northern Ireland visitor information. It provides:

Tickets for tours and events
A gift shop with internet access
A bureau de change and left luggage
Information on local transportation
Tourist information and advice
For individual and group accommodation bookings or more information contact us at the Belfast Welcome Centre World Police _ Fire Games accommodation office on +44 28 9024 5829 or email WPFGAccommodation@belfastvisitor.com

Business & Real Estate Sponsors

Business and Realtor sponsors


The Last Straw

has been a leading provider of the 2013 WPFG and has also improved our facilities tremendously by providing real estate agents as volunteers from all over the world including United States, Canada, and Europe.  With their help all of our Athletes were able to find appropriate accommodations without having to dish out large sums on home rentals or hotel fees and have been tremendous in their efforts to mitigate the costs associated with the high housing fees.  We sincerely thank our realty related sponsor for allowing us to provide condos and houses for these Athletes during their stay!


Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services.


Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine.
Visit Website »


The Danske Bank Group, is the largest bank in Denmark and one of the leading financial enterprises in Northern Europe.


Kukri are an international sportswear brand who specialise in making and selling kit for 75 different sports.


Deloitte offers integrated services that include Audit, Tax, Consulting and Corporate Finance.


Coca-Cola Hellenic are the official sponsor of the WPFG Volunteering Programme. They are also the Official Hydration Partner and Official Soft Drink Supplier.

Coca-Cola’s Powerade brand is the ‘Official Sports Drink’ of WPFG 2013.

Coca-Cola’s Deep RiverRock water brand is the ‘Official Water of WPFG 2013’.

Translink 119X27


Translink is Northern Ireland’s major integrated public transport provider of bus and train services (Metro, Ulsterbus, Goldline, NI Railways and Enterprise).

Translink is the Official Transport Partner for the 2013 World Police & Fire Games.


Food NI are the official food sponsor for the Games.  Showcasing the best of local food and ingredients at sporting venues and Taste of Ulster restaurants they guarantee a great local food experience.
Visit Website »


Scot Safety


Scott Safety is a manufacturer of innovative respiratory protection, PPE, safety devices and a range of products to suit the needs of First Responders.


Donnelly Group is the largest independent vehicle dealer in Northern Ireland and is one of the most progressive motoring companies in the UK.


Games Legacy

WPFG is more than a sporting event and the Games will leave a lasting legacy as a result of extensive Services engagement in the community, with schools and with young people. There were many legacy projects instigated before and during the Games. Below are just a few examples of the main projects.


A WPFG Education Pack was designed by teachers as a free resource for schools. It included lesson plans linked to the revised curriculum for pupils at Key Stages 2 and 3. An Irish language version was also developed, and these packs were distributed to every school in Northern Ireland.

A WPFG ‘roadshow’ was also developed in partnership with Sport NI. It travelled across the country and engaged with 8,260 children in the run up to the event.


One other notable legacy project developed in partnership with Games sponsor HeartSine Technologies, involves 45 Games-time defibrillators which were donated to schools across Northern Ireland. This equipment will ensure local schoolchildren from 45 schools are protected from the devastating condition, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

Read more here, including a full list of the schools that benefitted.


The WPFG Volunteer Programme, managed by Volunteer Now on behalf of 2013 WPFG, resulted in the largest collection of volunteers ever for an event in Northern Ireland. Read more about the WPFG volunteers.


Three official charity partners were also selected in order to benefit from the Games. Partners included the NI Cancer Fund for Children, SOS Bus and the Special Educational Needs Advice Centre (SENAC).


As part of the WPFG Legacy Programme, a boxing exhibition was commissioned telling the story of Northern Ireland’s boxing history, and this will be permanently located in the Ulster Hall.


One of the original objectives of the Games when they were first established was to increase participation in sport. Amongst the 7,000 WPFG competitors in 2013 were 826 Northern Irish competitors. This figure includes a wide range of competitors of all ages and abilities. At the end of the Games, Team Northern Ireland finished fifth overall in the medal table with 270 medals including 102 gold, 85 silver and 83 bronze.

It is hoped that the increased participation in sport amongst local emergency services personnel will be coupled with increased physical activity amongst young people inspired by the Games. Many thousands of school children spectated at WPFG events where taking part was just as important as winning.


WPFG showcased Northern Ireland’s excellent sporting facilities, with the 41 sporting venues spread across the country. The fact that NI was awarded the event undoubtedly helped persuade local decision makers to invest significant sums in a number of new and refurbished facilities such as the Mary Peters Track, Bangor Aurora, Kilbroney MTB Park and Queen’s Sport Upper Malone.


Hosting the WPFG provided a much needed boost to the local economy and, in particular, the hotel, hospitality and retail sectors. It will have longer term economic benefits as a result of the tourism legacy, with return visits and word of mouth helping boost this growing sector. In addition, the success of the event, along with other recent large scale events, will stand Northern Ireland in good stead as it bids to attract future international sporting and other events.

The event also captured the imagination of the private sector, with more than 30 sponsors contributing over £1.6 million to be involved and associated with the event. There were eight Platinum Sponsors including Coca-Cola HBC, Deloitte, Danske Bank, Fujitsu, Food NI, Diageo, Translink and Kukri Sports. For details of all the 2013 sponsors, visit the sponsors page.

Vancouver Real Estate Prices Skyrocketed Following 2010 Olympics

When people think of Vancouver they think instantly of its world famous quality of life. The city is always winning awards for liveability. One thing it certainly won’t be winning any awards for however is affordability. Following the Canadian 2010 Olympics prices have gone through the roof. The average sale price of a detached house in the city in 2016 was $1,830,000, an increase of more than 40% on the previous year. But is it just the Olympics that is to blame for vancouver bc real estate skyrocketing prices? Or are there other factors playing an equally important role?

The obvious answer to that question would seem to be: No.

The Olympics were not a decisive turning point in the real estate market of Vancouver, and did not send prices through the roof. They certainly had a palpable ripple effect in the renting prices of condominiums and other properties while they were being held and for the months before and after, but we need to look at long term home sale prices, not short term rental.

The statistics show that in 2008 and 2010 the percentages of Vancouver homes for sale sold in the city for more than $1,000,000 read 39% and 40% respectively. Then in 2012 the number of houses sold for more than a cool million dollars jumped, to 55%. If more than half of the city is being valued at over a million dollars, that is not an affordable city.

But were the Olympics really to blame for this huge increase in Vancouver homes for sale prices?

The 2006 statistics show that only 19% of the houses sold went for over a million, while the 2014 ones show that 59% of the houses sold that year broke the benchmark. So the pattern seems to have been in place before the Olympics, and continue after it. The statistics for 2016 shockingly show that 91% of Vancouver homes for sale are being sold for over the magic million and while we dont have this year’s numbers yet, we can predict they will look pretty similar. Blame the Olympics or not, the truth of the matter is that prices for Vancouver homes for sale have reached absolute record highs.

So why exactly have Vancouver real estate prices been driven so high?

Although the whole world is interested in investing in Canada, and investment has risen significantly over recent years, it is the Chinese investment in the country that has really turned heads. If you drive down a street in suburban Vancouver right now, chances are you will see real estate adverts in two languages. Bilingual signs may have been the norm in some parts of Canada for a long time, but not ones with Chinese lettering right next to the latin.

But why is all the money coming from China?

Well it seems that the 3,600,000 millionaires from the Asian nation are mightily aware of the political situation in their country and how it affects their standing. They live under a regime where at any point any man may be denounced as an enemy of the state, and would have all of his assets seized. Chinese investors are looking at Canada as a safe place to park their money.

It is not only the Chinese political situation that could be seen as volatile, but also their housing market. In the city of Shenzhen last year house prices rose a whopping 60%. However it would seem that Chinese attempts to escape that bubble are simply bringing the same effect to the North American continent. Canada may be staring down the barrel of the same gun.

Although Vancouver and its unprecedentedly high rise in home prices is the most famous and obvious, Chinese investors have also bought up land on the remote coast of Novia Scotia, or abandoned mining towns in British Colombia. Just why is a closely guarded secret, but it is having a noted effect on the home prices of the whole nation.

No-one is really sure how much the Chinese are investing in any one place, but estimates state that they could be collectively investing over $1 trillion dollars overseas every year. It is possible that as much as $12 billion of those dollars are being invested every year in Vancouver’s real estate market. A number which has obviously helped push the housing market up to its current, record proportions.

What about Vancouver condos?

But is it completely fair to put the incredible increase in Vancouver home prices down to faceless Chinese investors buying abandoned towns and coastline? A look at the statistics show that vancouver condos, apartments and attached Vancouver real estate and detached homes all rose at around the same rates between 2002 and 2010. The average price rose significantly, from $200,000 to $500,000 for anything apart from a detached home. Detached Vancouver real estate are where we see the real skyrocketing in prices in Vancouver home for sale. Vancouver condos were not an exception to the rule

The average detached home at the time of the 2010 Olympics would have set you back about $1,000,000, but today that same house would cost you almost double. In the same time period prices in the markets for other home types remained about the same.

So why the huge skyrocket in prices in detached homes for sale in Vancouver?

It would seem for the answer to this question we need to look back at the Chinese. This time not the millionaire investors however, but the average Chinese family moving not just their money to Canada, but their whole lives. Growing communities of minorities already established make it easier for more and more to follow suit and move their lives to the western world. One study found that as much as 66% of the property sold in Vancouver was sold to anglicized Chinese names. The pattern is clear for homes for sale in Vancouver.

So why have the prices of homes for sale in Vancouver skyrocketed since the 2010 Olympics?

It would seem that any connection between the two is more of a coincidence than a real cause or effect relationship. Instead, to learn why we must look to the world famous quality of life that is attracting more and more families from around the world to come and experience it for themselves. Its not the billionaire businessmen trying to buy out the city driving the prices so high, but the average working man hoping to live in it.

Best Real Estate Games

Aside from sporting games, everyone likes a little board game and online games for those raining days! So here are 5 of the best real estate games free out there. Are you looking for the best real estate games that will keep you entertained and busy as you await your next schedule? Well, look no more I have exactly what you are looking for.

Below is a list of five of the best real estate games you will never find anywhere else but her. The best thing about these games is that they boost your thinking faculty and enhance your efficiency in problem-solving. They also entertain you, making sure that you are in the best of moods. These are just beside stimulating your brain while boosting your concentration levels and enhancing your memory. But they can also teach you a lot of knowledge.

Here are 5 of the Best Real Estate Games


This is undoubtedly the largest and biggest mobile tycoon on the planet.

Features that make the game worth your interest.
The landlord real estate tycoon game has an infinite number of venues that exceed fifty million! Yes, over fifty million, that can be bought in the gam. Being among the most famous mobile games in the market, LANDLORD boasts of over five million downloads and is played in almost every country in the world. The Tycoon game has a five-star rating, a clear indication that customers are fully satisfied with the services. The developers also promise to keep working on the game to make more efficient for all users, and I can confidently tell you that that is not just an empty promise.

How to play this real estate game.
Asa beginner, you are awarded $5000 to buy and sell with Here, you have a chance of fully experiencing the world of capitalism and you are required to sell, buy and earn money while rising above the ranks to become the best capitalist in the structure.


This game is not only a monopoly game, it is also a quite engaging game.

Why choose real estate empire 3?
The game’s simulations are well explained making it an ideal game for short plays, an estimation of about fifteen minutes or less.

How to play this real estate game.
Like LANDLORD, the real estate empire game gives you an adventurous experience of a capitalist in an economy, although it mostly deals with houses in the neighborhood. Here, you make an effort of buying the houses at a lower rate then resell them at a relatively higher rate to make profit. Generally the game is divided into several turns, with a single turn being a representation of a single game month. The demo contains twelve turns whereas the full game has one hundred and twenty turns, that is, exactly ten months of game time

You assign a profession to your character of choice (either a contractor or a realtor), then you start purchasing and selling properties on a neighborhood map with houses ranging from lowbrow trailers to mansions. You compete with four other opponents for similar deals.


This is an amazing game that has that, AO Just one more game’ quality. It grants you the ability to purchase, sell and trade in digitized properties all over the world. Here, you set up your own real estate empire that has real places and it gives you the chance to collect rent when people visit those places.

Why you need this game.

The Dounut Trumpet Tycoon game aims at enhancing your real estate empire experience to a worldwide level building the value of your empire on a daily basis.

How to play this real estate game
You load places in the app by clicking on AO Buy Properties’. You only buy properties in your vicinity. Each moment you have a visitor (visiting your property from the real world), you collect rent because of the digital footprint they leave behind. However, costs apply on a daily basis despite the rent earned. You rank higher given the value of your properties. Sale of properties owned by you does not have an impact on your value, rent or prices in that venue.

Properties are priced with regard to property category and the expected number of visitors. As such, the value of your property indirectly proportional to its popularity. Cash limits apply on each level, upwardly trending as the level rises. This is one of the best real estate games out there in our opinion!


This monopoly game was designed by businessman Robert Kiyosaki to reinforce what he writes about in his books.

Why you need this best real estate game.
The game is an essential tool for learning basic financial strategies and principles in accountancy. This is especially ideal for business minded individuals who wish to expand their knowledge.

How to play Cashflow 101 real estate game 
This game has a board that contains two tracks, a Rat Race and a Fast Track. The small circle (Rat Race) only requires you to roll a single die to advance to the next level. You are paid upon successfully passing the Paycheck space and then allowed to draw a single card from the four decks of cards as per your landing space. However, beware not to run out of cash. The Fast Track requires you to roll double dice to advance to the next stag. Player sheets are also available to players, allowing them to exercise on how to fill out financial statements appropriately. The player chooses from different beginner careers and complete financial sheets. Cards landed and information derived from different investments is used to update the financial sheets.


The game allows the player to get richer by purchasing many city’s real estate including the world renowned Vancouver real estate market.

This is a very exciting game that enables you to sharpen your real estate skills.

How to play this real estate game.
You but at least a single slum house to get started. After purchasing the slum house, you employ a maintenance worker and a manager This you do by clicking on the grey button on each column, then wait for the month to end and collect your rent. The more money you earn the more slum houses you can buy and consequently, the more maintenance and management staff you need. With increased income from your monthly collections, you can acquire better and better properties. You will most likely get to a point where you feel you have made enough money and prospects are no longer increasing, you may decide to retire, resetting to 0 properties.

I hope you enjoyed this post about some of the best real estate games out there! Each of them come with their own spin on things, just like the real life game of real estate! – Contributed by strawhomes.com

Henrik Hansen – Copenhagen Fire Department

You all did an excellent job at the Games! I’ve been participating in the World Police & Fire Games since 1999 and I have never been to one that was so well organised. Even the smallest detail was taking care of, so well done everyone!!

Henrik at Belvoir Park Golf Club

I was competing in the Golf competition and I asked to be switched to another team so I could share transport with my fellow countrymen going to the different courses. I wasn’t sure if it would be possible so I I went along to the course I was going to play on the first round. But they managed to switch me to another course and a volunteer drove me in her own car to it…….that was a FANTASTIC gesture!

All the things lined up before the Opening Ceremony was fantastic. I was even interviewed live on BBC Radio. What an experience..! Your Opening Ceremony was fabulous; I was entertained from the very first minute and everyone was taken by storm with all the different singers, dancers and performances.
In the centre of Belfast, the red-shirted volunteers could be seen all over the city; there was no chance of getting lost!! I could go on forever, but choose to stop here. Thanks again for a fantastic job……the next host cities really have to look at your engagement and commitment Belfast!

Ashley Ricci – NYPD

Well, Belfast was a blast! The highlight of my experience was being able to play with athletes from across the world; I played Women’s Rugby 7s and our team was made up from a compilation of different countries. We had players from the US; from California and Rochester, but we also had two Australian players, two Dutch players and one player from Northern Ireland.
Our teammate from Northern Ireland played locally at Carrickfergus Rugby Club and organised a friendly match there for Team Canada, so I got a chance to play a local team as well as play in the Games which was a very cool bonus!
I was able to grab some sightseeing in between all the rugby. I went to Bushmills Whiskey Distillery and had a great time there! Other than that, I played a ton and took home the Bronze medal in rugby!
Now that I am back home, I am trying to build a program for NYPD women’s rugby to enter a team in the next Games!

Win a life saving defibrillator for your school!

Schools and their pupils across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to get their creative juices flowing to win a life saving defibrillator.

45 devices, manufactured by Belfast company HeartSine Technologies, were provided to this year’s World Police and Fire Games and will now be presented to 45 schools as part of the 2013 Games’ life saving legacy programme.

The defibrillators will be given to children who can best sum up why their school should receive the device, which will be judged by a panel made up of representatives from HeartSine, World Police and Fire Games and the Red Cross, who have offered to provide free training to all schools selected.

Schools who wish to take part should state in more than 150 words: why their school should receive a defibrillator and where it will be located.

Andy McClernon, International Product Manager at HeartSine Technologies, said the programme will ensure local schoolchildren are protected from the devastating condition, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA):


“SCA is one of the UK’s biggest killers. In fact, about 270 people die from it in the UK every single day. It can happen to anyone, at any time. That’s why we wanted the defibrillators which were originally stationed at World Police and Fire Games venues to be passed on to our local schools, so that pupils, staff, teachers and visitors are all protected should SCA occur. If someone suffers Sudden Cardiac Arrest, with CPR alone, survival rates are less than 5%. If, however, you combine CPR with the use of a defibrillator, then the rate of survival can increase to an incredible 70%.”

Schools will be judged on how best they demonstrate benefits to the school, evidence that pupils have learned about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and indication that teachers and students have worked on the application with consultation with their parents and local community.

Applications should also address how the wider school community will benefit from the defibrillator in particular local sports clubs, and accessibility to the community outside of the school term.

John Tully, Chief Executive of the 2013 World Police and Fire Games, said: “The Games were a resounding success and thankfully none of the devices had to be employed during the summer, but it was fantastic to know they were available should any of the athletes have suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

“We wanted to leave an enduring and meaningful legacy of the 2013 Games and so are delighted that we are now able to pass the devices on to some extremely deserving local schoolchildren.

“The competition is a superb way for the wider school communities to get involved and demonstrate what this device would mean to them. We have already had considerable interest from schools and we wish them all the best of luck.”

Paula Powell from the Red Cross said: “84% of cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest occur outside hospitals, for example at school, the workplace or home, so access to an available defibrillator is vital. It’s incredible to think that 45 local communities around Northern Ireland will now have easier access to a defibrillator, thanks to HeartSine and the World Police and Fire Games. We will be providing training to all schools on how to use the defibrillators as, although modern defibs are very straightforward to use, our experience shows that completing a first aid course gives people the necessary understanding and also the confidence to get involved in an emergency situation. The rollout of these AED units will undoubtedly save lives in the coming years and that is a remarkable legacy for everyone involved in the World Police and Fire Games.”

If you wish to avail of one of the 45 defibrillators, please state why your school should receive one and where it will be located in no more than 150 words and send it to info@2013wpfg.com by 5pm on Friday 8 November 2013.

Egor Iakovlev Chelyabinsk – Russian Federal Bailiffs Service

It’s been a little over two months since we came back from the Games but to this day we still have this cheerful spirit; we are always in the great mood, telling all of our friends about our amazing trip and celebrating the big win!

Belfast is an incredible city; very beautiful, with lots of green parks, amazing architecture, friendly people, interesting tours and fun bars, which let us not only to compete in the great setting but also have an unforgettable vacation with family.

The colourful Opening Ceremony, perfect organisation of the whole competition, amazing helpful volunteers all created a comforting and very welcoming feeling from the beginning through to the very last day.

Being in the same venue as my colleague Vladimir Averin, who was competing in Judo (I was competing in Karate) every day meant that we rooted for each other and of course supported each other. But besides sharing this experience and celebrating the win together, the Games also gave us an opportunity to meet new people from other countries, see old friends, plan to meet again at the next Games!!

Now we will just have to relive it in our memories, looking at the pictures. chatting, blogging and waiting for the next competition!


What a Closing Ceremony!

By Volunteer, Anne MacOscar
The atmosphere was electric
at Titanic Slipways on Saturday night as a huge crowd of athletes, family members and
volunteers turned out at the Closing Ceremony of the 2013 World Police and FireGames. A fantastic evening was had, celebrating the success of the Games,
reliving memories and officially handing over the ‘Flame of Hope’ to the hosts
of the 2015 World Police and Fire Games, Fairfax.
I arrived at Titanic Slipways
just before 6.30pm and already there was huge crowd gathering, everyone wanting
to secure themselves a good vantage point to watch the fantastic closing
ceremony which lay ahead. Despite the best efforts of the rain early on in the
evening, the people in attendance did not let the weather dampen their spirits.
Instead they donned the blue ponchos, provided by the organising committee, and
got the party started…and what a party it was!
Much to the excitement of the
crowd, The Red Arrows flew over the Titanic Slipways to officially mark the
start of the 2013 World Police & Fire Games Closing Ceremony at 7.30pm.
This was followed by the
parade of volunteers – representatives of the 3,500 volunteers who helped to
make the Games such a huge success. There was no doubt that during the parade
the most enormous cheer of the evening was for the home team, Northern Ireland.


Throughout the ceremony, Sandy
Row Falcon Cheerleading Squad and the Open Arts Community Choir blew the crowds
away with spectacular performances, including a rendition of ‘What have you
done today to make you feel proud?’, dedicated to the volunteers. There was
also video footage of the volunteers hard at work throughout the Games and of
the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run team on their journey throughout
Northern Ireland, in the lead up to the Games.
When the time came for
Belfast to hand over the World Police and Fire Games flag to the hosts of the
2015 Games, Fairfax, Minister of Culture Arts and Leisure, Carál NiChuilin was
on hand to do the honours.
The Flame of Hope then entered the slipways, carried
by a Special Olympics athlete and a member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run
team. They handed the torch over to a representative from Fairfax and so its
journey to its new home began. It received a fabulous send off from the people
of Belfast, whose sadness that the Games were over was almost forgotten when
the 2015 organising committee invited everyone to Fairfax!
The Closing Ceremony truly
was a spectacular event to mark the end of the 2013 World Police and Fire Games
in Belfast. During the 10 days of the Games, medals were won, friendships were
formed, marriage proposals were made (4 in total!) and best of all, the people
of Belfast definitely delivered the friendliest Games ever! It was fantastic to
have been involved – wishing all the athletes, their family and friends and all
of the travelling volunteers a safe journey home.

New Zealand wins Rugby 7s & Garda take women’s title at WPFG Belfast

By Volunteer Rebecca McConnell
After two days Rugby 7s
action at Queens Sport (DUB), it was time for finals day to determine the 2013
WPFG men from the boys, and women from the girls.
All the matches took place on
the Arena, meaning the spectators could enjoy the match whatever the weather
under the roof.
It started off dry and warm as the semi finals took to the
pitch. After some tight matches and many tackles on pitch, North Vancouver and
Welsh Fire made it into the Division 2 final whilst Garda and PSNI won their
respective semis in the over 35s league. The Garda’s secret weapon were their
wacky socks as each member of the team sported colourful and unusual socks.
According to their coach “It’s to make old men feel, young!” A bit harsh when
the team is only over 35s!
There was drama during the
first women’s semi as the Ambulance needed to come on pitch to assist a
Canadian (East) player who took a bad fall during a tackle against the Garda
team. As well as St. John’s Ambulance volunteers coming to her rescue, the
Italians sent a member of their support team, an orthopaedic surgeon to have a
look too. Because of losing a player, the Canadian East didn’t have enough
people to continue the match, so the Garda won the semi. In the second semi,
team USA lost to Canada West. Later the officials decided to play what should
have been a Bronze medal match as a friendly.
Team USA took the bronze and Garda went on
to beat Canada West 33 points to nil. To say they were ecstatic to win gold
would be an understatement! They were loving it and even had the champagne
ready to celebrate on pitch.
Team USA had a PSNI officer
helping them out and she was delighted to go home with a medal.
“I wasn’t even entered two weeks ago so this is just amazing to have a bronze
medal at my home Games. I definitely want to take part in the next ones in
The male Garda team also had
success beating local team PSNI in the over 35s final 41-5 to take another gold
medal with them across the border. Welsh Fire won division 2 title beating
North Vancouver Fire 38 points to 10.
In the men’s division 1
final, it was a close encounter between New Zealand Fire and HM Police Service.
NZ won the first try and despite taking a 17-0 lead at half time, their coach
still shouted ‘dominate’ to spur them on. They had won gold in New York Games
in 2011 so were keen to defend their title. In the end, despite resurgence from
the British Police team, New Zealand defended their title winning 17-14. Once
again, they showed their dominance and strength by performing the Haka to the
packed crowds at the DUB.
Logan Martin, captain of the
New Zealand Fire team, “Man we’re thrilled! We lost twice on the first day here
so it was good to come back and then peak at the right time. It was well worth
the trip to Belfast! It was awesome!”
Awesome was a word I heard a
lot this week. It was the word a Californian used to describe her pre-Games
tour of Ireland, even in the rain, and it was the word I would use to describe
the spirit of the Games. As a fellow volunteer said to me this morning, “It’s
not just the competitiveness the games are played in that is so impressive, it
is the spirit. It is simply fantastic. In terms of the rugby, it is a fraternal
brotherhood across the world and it shows in the WPFG too.”
As I left Queen’s Sport, a
little saddened that it was my last shift with #wpfgsocialteam, the
celebrations for many of the teams had just begun at the bar inside. On driving
out of the car park, a guy in a Paris Fire shirt waved to me, he was looking a
lift back to his team’s hotel, because his legs were tired and sore. ‘Please,’
he pleaded. Naturally as a volunteer in the ‘friendliest games ever’, I obliged
resulting in me leaving not one, nor two, but three Italian fire men back to
the Ramada Hotel! They had all swapped shirts with each other during the Games,
hence the Paris Fire top. Unfortunately my iPhone’s battery was flat otherwise
that would have been a picture to treasure from the Games.
Failing that, I will
just have to remember the parting words from the guy in the back who when
getting out of my Seat Ibiza said, “Thanks, Rebecca. You’re perfect!” A
wonderful and unexpected finish to a brilliant and thrilling few days of