Cookstown scores a hat trick with the World Police and Fire Games 2013
Hot on the heels of the Olympic Torch Relay, and following the Paralympic Flame Celebration in coming up in August, the Cookstown District will host a third international sporting event as it was announced that the Cookstown Half Marathon Road Race will be one of the events in the 2013 World Police and Fire Games which take place from 1st – 10th August 2013.
The majority of the Games sports are held in venues in Belfast and this will be the only Mid-Ulster venue to participate in the Games.
2013 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) Ltd has announced a total of 41 preferred venues in Belfast and across Northern Ireland which includes Cookstown Half Marathon to host the comprehensive range of approximately 66 sports featured in next year’s international ten day event. The announcement follows a ten day visit by the World Police and Fire Games Federation in April when every location was visited and matched against exacting suitability criteria.
The Games hope to attract 25,000 visitors from over 70 countries. This will include an estimated 10,000 competitors, plus 15,000 friends and family from all over the world with a large influx expected from North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and mainland Europe. It is hoped the event will generate at least £15m for the Northern Ireland economy. The organisers said they would also require 3,500 local volunteers to help host the event.
The concept of promoting sport and fraternity within the police and fire fighting communities began in 1967, with the staging of the first ever California Police Olympics. This concept grew and led to the establishment of the World Police & Fire Games Federation (WPFGF) in 1983, with the first Games taking place in San Jose in 1985.
WPFGF is made up of serving and retired fire, police and prison officers from across the world. Their mission is to create community interaction and awareness, educate children on the benefits of sport, and develop camaraderie between members of the emergency services from around the world.
John Tully, Chief Executive 2013 WPFG explains, “Every two years the World Police and Fire Games provide the host country with a unique opportunity to showcase its country, its people and its very best facilities to a captive audience of over 25,000 visitors. Sport is at the core of the event and it is essential both for the credibility of the Games and the reputation of the host country that competitors enjoy the optimum experience across every sport in which they participate.
Over the last year we have been in consultation with the WPFG Federation, the local governing bodies of sport and an extensive list of venues to ensure that all the required criteria are met. We are delighted that following the Federation’s visit last month we now have a list of 41 preferred venues for next year’s Games. Indeed the Federation Directors were extremely impressed by the range and quality of our facilities and share our confidence that Northern Ireland will deliver the most successful and the friendliest games ever.”
Preferred sports venues are subject to further planning discussions with the governing bodies of sport, commercial negotiations with a view to securing value for money and contractual arrangements. 2013 WPFG Ltd will now work with each venue to finalise an event schedule for each of the allocated sports and begin the development of a detailed operational plan.
Mike Graham, President of the WPFG Federation, was very positive in his evaluation of both the organising committee’s work and the facilities on offer saying, “2013 WPFG Ltd is meeting or exceeding our expectations in all areas and at this juncture, taken as a whole, is one of the best prepared organising committees in our history. We have full faith and confidence that 2013 WPFG Ltd has developed and is implementing a business plan that will deliver the 2013 World Police and Fire Games that will be judged as highly successful on multiple levels.”
Caral Ni Chuilin, Minister of Culture, Arts & Leisure said, “The announcement of the venues for the 2013 World Police and Fire Games is a significant milestone for the Company. The Games will be the biggest sporting event ever held in this part of Ireland. While this is a tremendous opportunity for tourism, there will also be other economic benefits for the areas hosting the 66 events over the ten days of the games.”
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Weather for Dungannon
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North