30/09/2011

'Team NI Executive' Backs '999 Team'

NI Executive Ministers have been celebrating with the Sports, Justice and Public Safety Ministers all joining forces and congratulating team members from the Fire, Police and Prison Services who recently took part in the World Police and Fire Games.

Speaking at a celebratory BBQ hosted by the Consul General of the United States of America, to honour the local athletes who participated in the games last month in New York, Carál Ní Chuilín, the Sinn Fein Sports Minister (pictured) said: "As well as taking part and indeed winning at the New York games, you were ambassadors for the next games taking place here in Belfast in 2013.

"We are very excited about Belfast hosting the World Police and Fire Games in 2013 and we are working hard to make those games the best ever and to tap into the social and economic benefits that such a prestigious event can bring.

"We can expect up to 25,000 visitors from 65 countries at our games in Belfast which we estimate will boost the local economy by £15m," she said.

The NI Justice Minister, Alliance Leader, David Ford said: "Team Northern Ireland should be rightly proud of its achievements at the New York games.

"By all accounts the games in New York were a tremendous success. We know that the games we will host here in 2013 will be the friendliest ever and work is underway to make the most of all the opportunities the Belfast games will create."
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The DUP Public Safety Minister, Edwin Poots said: "We are all extremely proud of the firefighters, policemen and women, and prison staff who took part in the World Police and Fire Games in New York.

"Our team brought home well-deserved medals and I am sure many friendships were made along the way. I would like to congratulate them for all their hard work and dedication, not only to their sport, but also to their profession - we appreciate everything you do.

"Now it is time for the real work to begin in the lead up to the 2013 Games, to be hosted here in Belfast.

"We have the opportunity to show the competitors and visitors from other countries that we can put on a professional and fun-filled show, highlighting the very best Northern Ireland has to offer. I have no doubt that the 2013 Games will be the best yet," he concluded.

The World Police and Fire Games is a biennial event, which is organised for all 'sworn law enforcement officers'.

This includes, police, fire, customs, prison service and some smaller enforcement agencies such as coastguard services and drug enforcement agencies.

The 2011 team, which competed in New York, comprised of officers both serving and retired from the PSNI, Prison Service and the Fire & Rescue Service. Around 100 local competitors took part in the New York games.

The 2013 World Police and Fire Games will be hosted in Belfast from 1-10 August 2013 and will include a wide range of individual and team sports such as athletics, football, swimming, rugby, field and Ice Hockey, shooting, rowing, tennis, golf, 10 pin and lawn bowls, and cycling.

(BMcC/GK)

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