As part of their preparations to host the largest international sports event of next year, Northern Ireland's fire and police chiefs have welcomed a delegation from the World Police and Fire Games Federation to view the potential venues and facilities.

From 1-10 August 2013 the WPFG will attract 25,000 visitors from over 70 countries to venues across the country for an event which is expected to boost the local economy by at least £15 million.

WPFG President Mike Graham led the 16-strong delegation and said: "With only 17 months to go this is an extremely exciting part of the Games process when we visit all the potential sports locations and give the green light for venues to enable them, in turn, to make preparations for next year.

"The Federation is delighted that N.Ireland will be our next Games host.  There is so much on offer here in terms of sports venues, leisure and tourism opportunities, infrastructure, quality accommodation and most of all a real passion and enthusiasm to welcome our 10,000 competitors and 15,000 supporting visitors from throughout the world.  Whilst the sporting aspect of the Games is the focal part of the 10 day event they will also play a very important part in capacity building and community involvement which we hope will leave an enduring legacy of new skills and greater respect for the Services involved in the event long after the closing ceremony."

The principality will be only the third European host in the Games history, commonly referred to as the "Olympics" for serving and retired  police, fire, prison and border security officers. The biennial event consists of a wide range of  individual and team sports including traditional sports such as athletics, soccer and boxing as well as others unique to the Services such as Ultimate Fire Fighter.

WPFG 2013 Deputy Chair and Chief Fire Officer Peter Craig said: "The visit from the WPFG Federation is one of the many milestones in the countdown to WPFG 2013.  There is no doubt that there is a growing sense of excitement among all the services in Northern Ireland, and beyond, as we become another step closer to the beginning of the prestigious Games and a memorable event for Northern Ireland."

His thoughts were echoed by the Federation chair, Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie, who said she was "looking forward to welcoming colleagues and their families from across the globe and show casing the excellent facilities, attractions and hospitality that Northern Ireland is renowned for".

Posted 08/05/2012 by