Firefighters from all over the globe have begun to register online for next year's World Police and Fire Games, with over 10,000 athletes from 70 countries expected to sign up.

Judith Gillespie, Deputy Chief Constable of 2013 hosts, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said: "Registration going live today is a key milestone in the delivery of what is going to be the biggest sporting event ever seen in Northern Ireland.

"It signals that World Police and Fire Games Belfast 2013 is open for business and confirms that the 40 sporting venues are ready to welcome the competitors from across the world. The World Police and Fire Games Federation, which oversees the quality and delivery of the Games, have confirmed that they are satisfied with our level of preparedness and it is exciting to think that next August thousands of competitors, along with their family and friends will descend on Belfast for what are going to be the 'friendliest' Games ever."

The online registration system at enables competitors to register as an athlete, select the sports they wish to participate in and pay related fees. It also allows the purchase of passes for friends and family. Athlete registration and friends and family passes entitle the holder to use of public transport, entry to the opening and closing ceremonies and access to the Athletes' Village at no extra cost.

DCC Gillespie added: "Based on research from previous Games we are anticipating a high level of demand for sports such as golf, tennis, the martial arts, ice hockey, cricket and the lifting competitions which are expected to reach capacity well in advance of the official entry deadline. As entries are accepted on a 'first-come, first-served' regional basis we are encouraging competitors to register as early as possible. We would also encourage competitors, and visitors, to book their accommodation as early as possible to ensure that they secure a place to stay which best suits their needs and sporting venue. A dedicated reservation service is being managed by Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau (BVCB) who are offering preferential WPFG accommodation rates. Details are on the WPFG website."

Whilst the majority of the sports are being hosted in the Greater Belfast area there are also a number of events taking place across Northern Ireland from North Antrim, to Tyrone to South Down. This geographical spread will allow visitors to experience the very best of Northern Ireland and NITB has been working in partnership with 2013 WPFG to promote the local tourism offer to both encourage lengthier stays next August and repeat visits in the future.

Information about all aspects of the Games including eligibility criteria; detail about individual sports; sports schedule; sports venue locations; transport arrangements; opening and closing ceremonies; Athletes' Village; air, sea and road access; accommodation; and general tourism information is available on the  

Posted 01/11/2012 by