Did you see what our volunteers did? Absolutely loving it !
oes Batman qualify for the World Police & Fire Games?! Seen at Queen’s Sport Upper Malone
atmosphere more often seen on the streets of Rio, the sun shining high in the
sky and the exuberant cheers of the Brazilian team as they were awarded the
first gold medals of the day, you could be forgiven for thinking you were anywhere
but Belfast. But yesterday us Norn Irish
folk held our heads high as we welcomed the world to the third and final day of
Ultimate Firefighter at the iconic Titanic Slipways.
from near and far to soak up the atmosphere at this thrilling event, which on the final day took the form of four different stages, performed by four different team
complete stages 1 and 4, the hose task and high rise task and the afternoon
session included the stage 2 weight and strength task and stage 3 obstacle
athletes showed off the everyday skills they need to be firefighters to
perfection and much to the delight of the assembled crowds, the competition was
fierce. It was split into age categories
and while many teams were from particular countries or stations, there were
also a number of teams made up of individuals including the Barbarians team of
Irish, English and Americans who ended up taking gold in the over 45’s
category. Gold medals also went to the
Brazilians, who I’ve heard were in training for the games for the past six
months and a team from the Czech Republic.
A talented team from Ireland were awarded silver in the U35’s category,
cue rapturous applause from the huge crowd that had gathered for the medals
close I met Danny Ard, Crew Commander for Blue Watch at Central Fire Station in
Belfast, who was a great sport and let me fulfil my lifelong ambition of
wearing a fireman’s hat and happily put his heavy firefighting gear back on to
pose for some photographs. While we were
perfecting Danny’s modelling skills he told me about meeting an older
firefighter the day before who has competed in the WPFG every year since 1985 and
said that in all his years taking part he has never seen the games so well
organised. This is a statement I have
heard repeated many times during the past few days and it is a true testament
to the hard work and dedication of the many organisers and volunteers that are
so far helping to make these games a resounding success.
volunteer comes sadly to an end I can say hand on heart that it has been an
amazing experience and one I feel very proud and privileged to have played a
part in. Judging by the atmosphere down
at Titanic for the last two days we have certainly made these games one to
remember and I hope that our legacy of hosting the ‘friendliest games ever’
will live on.
job tomorrow where I’m sure I will hear about all the exciting WPFG duties my
fellow Coca-Cola colleagues have been completing during their time as
Reliving Some day 8 Action
All friends after a hard fought rugby7s game between USA and Canada!
Belfast today as rugby 7s action continued at Queens University’s DUB
playing fields. Twenty nine matches were being played on two different pitches
covering four leagues: men’s division 1, men’s division 2A and 2B and the
women’s league. Rugby 7s is played 7 minutes a side with 7 players on each
1 were An Garda Siochana, British Police, British Prison, Paris Fire Brigade,
New Zealand Fire, Italian State Fire, Italian State and the local boys, PSNI.
performed by the New Zealand team each time they went out to play. It was quite
an intimidating performance and that was even before any ball was kicked!
watch some of the action as well as Kit Kong mascot of the official merchandise
sponsor Kukri. There were a lot of people watching with their kids and dogs and
everyone enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and exciting action.
trying to bribe some WPFG volunteers to go and bring them some coffees during
the mornings play, even offering to buy them a brew, but there were no takers!
‘Happy Birthday’ sang to one of their players post match. Tamburri Gabriel
shares the same birthday as tennis ace Roger Federer, they both turned 32
total. They won against British Prison (17 points to nil) but lost matches to
British Police and the Italian State . A member of the team said,
“Competition was stiff today, some great teams out there. PSNI acquitted
ourselves well and we will come back stronger for the next Games in
next WPFG in 2015 were also in attendance at The DUB today to see help them in
their preparations. Keith Houston, a firefighter in Fairfax has been attending
meetings and checking out various sports with his fellow committee members.
sharing experiences and seeing what works well. We’re having dinner in City
Hall tonight so I am looking forward to that, it’s been hard going over the
past few days!”
NYPD rugby team as they were warming up to play the Antwerp team in the
Division 2A. They were playing yesterday and beat the NYFD but suffered loses
to other teams. “The most important thing is we beat the fire department!
That’s all that matters. We’re having a fantastic time at the Games, the
traffic is much better here than in New York!”
walk up to pitch 13 where the women’s rugby 7s tournament was being played. On
route, I passed by pitches where the WPFG Softball was being played. There was
something for everyone at the DUB today!
tournament were teams from An Garda Siochana, USA and two teams from Canada. I
did manage to find a local player, a member of the PSNI, but she was wearing a
Team USA shirt!
I got roped into playing here today. Basically, we don’t have enough players to
make a PSNI team but I play with Carrick and we wanted to have a friendly match
against one of the WPFG teams, so we set it up with the Americans. It was that
friendly, I don’t even remember the score, I don’t think we were that worried
about it to be honest, we were just getting on well and having a laugh. When we were setting the match up, the
Americans needed another player for these Games and asked me would I step in.
It’s been great fun, the girls are super. Hopefully for the next Games, we can
pull together a team from the PSNI and the NIFRS and maybe double up with our
counterparts in the Republic for an all Ireland team.”
their matches and go into tomorrow’s semi finals as the favourites. With an
Irish International player on their team, they will be hard to beat.
tomorrow as the semis and finals of all the league tournaments will be played
on the Arena. Come along to QUB DUB playing fields, just beyond the House of
Sport, from 10am to see all the action!
Reliving some day 7 action
The Welsh Fire Service 7s team ready for action at Queen’s Sport Upper Malone!
he Host from the Coast
@AlanSimpsonBBC with the Spanish beach volleyball team playing today at East Strand Portrush!
Reliving Day 6 Action
Some of our fantastic volunteers!
Belfast to watch rugby, Gaelic football and soccer. It was a big challenge
considering the amount of matches played that day and the size of the venue. Of
course, I got lost as soon as I arrived and ended up almost walking towards the
Mary Peter’s track! My Active Belfast pedometer certainly got used that day!
would encourage everyone to go and watch a sport they wouldn’t usually
consider. This applied to me yesterday as I had never been to a Gaelic or rugby
match outside of school competitions before. I found the scoring quite tricky
to grasp but luckily people at the ground were willing to help out!
for soccer, a game which I am much more familiar with. Every football fan at
The Dub was there to see Brazil vs Spain. Every seat in the stand was filled to
watch the game! I met a very excited Brazilian fan and ended up getting my picture
taken with him. As you can see he made it quite evident who he was supporting!
singing We’re Not Brazil, We’re Northern Ireland much to the delight of the
Brazilian fans who along side were singing and banging their drums to the beat!
Despite it being a final there was a real party atmosphere!
stars such as Andrew Trimble and Paul Marshall at the ground. It was nice to
see them give their support to the event! I knew of some volunteers who were very
excited about this! I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to see them but I saw
some photographic evidence that they were here! I noticed that on the rugby and
Gaelic pitches there were a lot of families having picnics and holding their
own mini games. Another great family day out!
from the World Police and Fire Games who said that the volunteers really are
making it the ‘Friendliest Games Ever’! He said that competitors have been
talking to him about how supportive the volunteers are. I was talking to an
athlete from Canada who thanked us personally for our help!
as part of the World Police and Fire Games Media Team. I will be tweeting and
blogging from Portrush where the beach volleyball and surf kayaking events will
be held. It’s hard to believe that the games are nearly over!
Reliving Day 5 Action
Fire after winning Gold in Division 2 last night