Competing against thousands of others, across more than 50 sports in a (cold) foreign country isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for a handful of NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services finest; it was right up their alley.
The biennial event, which began in 1985, ran from 1-10 August and saw almost 7,000 competitors from across the globe converge on Northern Ireland’s capital to compete in 56 sports in 41 venues.
The NTPFES contingent took away a colourful haul of medals, which included one gold, one silver and five bronze.
Sergeants Renae McGarvie and Isobel ‘Issy’ Cummins, took on Belfast 2013 as veterans, having competed in the 2011 games in New York.
The two raised $10,000 to participate in the event and donated half of the proceeds to Austism NT, a charity close to their hearts.
As a competitor in the stair race, Renae took on the tallest building in Belfast and following the 27 flights, had a new found respect for the NT Fire and Rescue Service members.
Renae also competed in the 1,000m women’s doubles rowing event with Issy, mixed doubles 1,000m and won a silver medal in the 2,000m individual rowing event.
“The World Police and Fire Games is an amazing experience I would recommend to all members. The games are largely made up of volunteers who do a remarkable job.
I would like to thank all of the NTPFES, friends and families for supporting our fundraising efforts and eating countless chocolates, all to support a good cause,” Renae said.
Our very own eagle-eye, Constable First Class Nathan Vale, shot his way into the finals and beyond in a number of skeet events.
“I struggled the first couple of days of the competition as the targets were challenging and I was using a borrowed gun, though once I got my eye in, I was in the zone,” Nathan said.
He went on to beat a strong team of 120 and claim gold with a score 92/100 in the skeet event. Not content with a single medal, Nathan went on to claim three bronze in the skeet team event, skeet doubles and arm wrestling. “As in life and shooting, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” he concluded.
Ray Curran from SafeNT (retired Tasmania Police Officer with over 20 years in the service), Recruit Firefighter Coen Royle and Firefighters Simon Haughton and Ryan Kelly competed in the Dragon Boat Racing competition.
On day one of the competition, the Women’s 10s team, made up of Police and Firefighters from the US and Australia, were steered to third place by Ray, who was only to happy to act as ‘Sweep’ for the event.
‘Aurora Australis’ walked away with another bronze medal on day three of the competition, defeating a number of fierce and highly fancied crews in the mixed 20s event.
“Competition was hard but the crew excelled themselves, beating a number of other countries for a place on the podium,” Ray said. “The whole experience was fantastic and the Irish people were really wonderful and friendly.”
In total, Australia brought home 63 gold, 57 silver and 68 bronze, for a grand total of 188.
The next World Police and Fire Games are to be held in Fairfax, Virginia, USA in 2015 and word on the street is that a number NTPFES members are already preparing.