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.
DEFIBRILLATORS DONATED TO SCHOOLS
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
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.
OFFICIAL CHARITY PARTNERS
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).
BOXING EXHIBITION AT THE ULSTER HALL
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.
INCREASING PARTICIPATION IN SPORT
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.
SHOWCASING NORTHERN IRELAND’S SPORTS FACILITIES
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.
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.
ABOUT THE GAMES
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.
UNPRECEDENTED PUBLIC SUPPORT
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
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.
SUCCESS OF THE EVENT
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
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
the Arena, meaning the spectators could enjoy the match whatever the weather
under the roof.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!”
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.”
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.
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
ashamed to admit this but this was my first ever ice hockey experience, and what a first it was.
to sit directly behind the goal net area.
As the Canadian team took turns to practice shots, the ones which missed
the net came flying towards me and crashed into the screen in front of me
making my heart stop a few times. It was after this that I knew I was in for a good night.
great spirits, then the match began. Ice hockey is made up of three periods per match, each lasting 20 minutes.
later. Canada came back fighting as they scored their first goal and quickly gained a lot more possession enabling them to eventually even the score to 2-2.
However, just 16 seconds later St Petersburg took back the lead scoring their third goal making the score at the end of the first period 3-2 to St Petersburg.
scoring their third goal with 1.29 minutes left, evening the score to 3-3. This must have put some fire in their belly as they scored another two goals in the last minute of this period, bringing the score to 5-3 to Canada.
putting the score at 6-5 to Canada. With their competitors hot on the heels, Canada came back fighting with a memorable goal in the last 20 seconds of the match making them the bronze medal winners
with a score of 7-6. The growing crowd cheered as the Canadian team collected their bronze medals.
Russian Home Affairs Ministry were taking on the Helskini Fire Department. At this stage the crowd had
doubled and so had the atmosphere. The teams were brought onto the ice with music, disco lights and roaring fans.
holding possession they scored another three goals ending the first period in the lead 4-0. It was very clear at this point that the Russian team meant business.
I was so impressed by the skill and speed of both these teams, the skating was excellent to watch and both teams had a great competitive spirit about them which made the match unmissable.
further two goals. The shots from Russia were so powerful, lots of praise must go out to the Helskini goal keeper who stopped plenty of them, as well as the amazing defence.
fashion, the local Belfast crowd were fully behind the underdogs from Helskini, chanting their names and cheering them on every step of the way and when the team scored their first goal (bringing the score to 6-1) the crowd gave the biggest roar of the night so far. The unstoppable Russian team continued on to score two more goals ending the period with a final score of 8-1. Russia were victorious gold medal winners.
present the silver medals to the Helsinki team who all gave me some lovely hugs
and friendly greets and i handed them their medals on the ice one by one. Russia followed, picking up their well deserved gold medals.
speed, the referees who jumped over the puck every two seconds, the atmosphere, the crowd, the cold…everything. This sport most certainly has a new super fan in me.
final day of the Toughest Competitor Alive (TCA) event and the turn of the
mixed doubles and 4-person teams to show off their various talents and skills
in eight different stages of the event which are as follows:
to this event the athletes taking part certainly need to be the totally package
with exceptionally diverse physical skills.
for the TCA event, check out Kat’s blog which sets the
scene for the first day where she saw the women and 50+ Men compete for the
highly sought after TCA title.
first three disciples of the event (5k run, 100m sprint and shot put) taking
place at the Bangor Sports Complex. The
competitors then travelled by bus to the Bangor Aurora Centre to begin their
swimming challenge which is where i joined the festivities.
settled in to watch the competitors doing their warm up for the 100m freestyle
swim race. I sat amongst the competitors
friends, family and supporters and got talking to the brother of a member of
Team Spain who told me that his “brother has trained seven days a week for
a whole year for this competition and is going for the gold”. This Spanish determination became even more
clear when the race kicked off as i watched three members of Team Spain win all
three phases of the swimming challenge, with Sweden following closely behind.
Aurora was filled with smiling faces from all over the world and encouraging
cheers in all sorts of languages, but when local man Roy Allen stepped up to
represent Team Northern Ireland the pool filled with cheers and few ‘Keep er
lit’ chants came his way.
swimming came from Fernando Felipe of Spain with a time of 1:08:80.
competitors, volunteers and spectators all made their way to the sports hall,
also within the Aurora complex to watch the rope climb, bench press and pull
ups, with the weight lifting competition for the WPFG also taking place in the
same hall the atmosphere was electric, not to mention loud.
challenge. Competitors had to climb a
20ft rope which had a disk at the top covered in black soot, the officials
check the competitors hands after the climb for black marks to ensure they
touched the disk, the fastest time wins.
All competitors took turns on two ropes, cheering each other on when it
was not their turn. I watched closely and once again noticed it may be a close
call between Spain and Sweden. There was
only one female who attempted the rope climb, and I must say, she put the boys
to shame, you can watch my video by clicking here.
pulls up section of the day. Competitors
took turns at lifting a weight which they had previously set for themselves and
for pull ups they had do as many as they could with their chin touching the top
bar each time. Once again, Sweden stood
out to me here with Max Norwood showing off his determination and recieving
endless cheers from the whole crowd. Local man Steven Morrison completed a total
of 29 pull ups and once again got the biggest cheer of the day.
volunteers and spectators made their way back to the Bangor Sports Complex with
the final challenge of the day ahead, the obstacle course. Back at the BSC the spanish team entertained
everyone as they had brought their own portable iPod player and played
traditional spanish music while they did their warm up, this of course put
everyone in a fantastic mood, the sun shinning down on the field didn’t hurt
of, monkey bars, tyre steps, wall jumps, net runs and many other things (these
are not the official terms, but its how I can be describe it). The course had a gladiator style about and
believe me, these athletes certainly are like gladiators.
took to the final stage of their busy day for their last chance to be named the
‘Toughest Competitor Alive’. Here are the results.
be the Ice Hockey on Friday night, stay tuned for my final blog.
Gold for Aurora Police Department in the men’s softball!