Belfast is set to be at the heart of the action this August, as the city prepares to welcome over 10,000 police, fire, prison and border security officers for the 2013 World Police and Fire Games. Are you going to be at the heart of the action?
And the officers won’t be alone. Also attending this energetic global event will be around 25,000 of the participants’ friends and families showing – and we’re guessing singing and shouting – their support.
Belfast, naturally, couldn’t be more excited to be the key venue for this mega occasion! The city that Lonely Planet tipped as a “must-see” is bursting at the seams with excitement, not to mention some pretty brilliant attractions.
It’s not all about the sports!
How about the incredible Titanic Belfast exhibition – even movie director James Cameron gave this place the thumbs up? Or the musical sounds of Belfast’s music scene? Plus the plentiful pubs, restaurants and cafés that’ll swing open their doors to welcome you in?
Oh, and did we mention that there are over 3,500 volunteers from the city and surrounding communities gearing up to assist with everything from medical services to technical operations?
Around 57 sports are scheduled during the games, and a list of venues is available, so you can check out what’s on where and when.
If the excitement of 10,000 assorted heroes locked in competition isn’t enough, Northern Ireland will be there in the background to keep the atmosphere buzzing, and the thrills on demand.
Belfast and beyond
Beyond the games you’ll find an incredible array of world-famous sights to explore, including the Unesco-listed Giant’s Causeway, and the vertiginous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
According to guide book Frommer’s, the main draw in Northern Ireland is its incredible countryside: “the cool greens of the Glens of Antrim, the rugged Mourne Mountains, and the famously craggy coastline culminating in the extraordinary lunar Giant's Causeway.”
And if you’re coming all this way, what better chance to experience it.
The excitement builds
Kelly Lavington, Detective Acting Sergeant with South Australia Police, is certainly one person who is delighted to be returning to Ireland, after living here for a year: “I'm very excited to be coming back, as I love Ireland and look forward to seeing my Irish boys and all my other mates.”
And the flavour is most definitely going to be global. The Games will welcome competitors from as far afield as Brazil, South Africa, the United States, Russia, Canada and Australia, as well as Germany, France and Spain, with the distinct intention of making many holiday memories in Belfast and Northern Ireland.
“We are very excited about Belfast hosting the World Police and Fire Games in 2013,” says Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, “and we’re working hard to make those games the best ever.”
Bring it on!