Firefighter Julian McGrail successfully participated in the World Police and Fire Games 2013 hosted in the city of Belfast from the 1 to the 10 August. The next Games will take place in Fairfax, Virginia USA from 26 June to 5 July 2015.
The World Police and Fire Games is a biennial event for serving and retired police, fire, prison and border security officers. WPFG is the third largest international multi-sport event in the world and the largest ever sporting event to take place in Northern Ireland. In 2013 there were over 7,000 participants in 56 sports held at 41 venues across Northern Ireland with competitors from 67 countries taking part.
Julian was awarded with a 4th place in the Ultimate Firefighter competition within his category, which could have been a Silver Medal if he had not received a 5 second penalty during one of the events. He said that this will only make him train harder for another event to be held in Germany next year where he has been invited to form part of the Great Britain Team.
The Games is a biennial event consisting of a wide range of individual and team sports. 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.
The Games became international in 1989 when they were held outside USA for the first time in Vancouver. Stockholm was the first European country to host the Games in 1999. Previous host cities include:
1985 – San Jose, USA 1987 – San Diego, USA 1989 – Vancouver, Canada 1991 – Memphis, USA 1993 – Colorado, USA 1995 – Melbourne, Australia 1997 – Calgary, Canada 1999 – Stockholm, Sweden 2001 – Indianapolis, USA 2003 – Barcelona, Spain 2005 – Quebec City, Canada 2007 – Adelaide, Australia 2009 – British Columbia, Canada 2011 – New York City, USA.
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