The South African Police Service and Department of Correctional Services are proudly representing the country at the World Police and Fire Games in
The combined team headed north at the end of July, where they will compete against thousands of their colleagues until the last whistle blows on 9 August.
The biennial World Police and Fire Games is one of the world’s largest sporting events. In terms of number of sporting codes as well as participants, it is bigger than any other event except the Summer Olympics. This year’s event is the largest in history, with a record 10 577 athletes registered to participate.
The previous tournament took place in
The 2007 Correctional Services team brought home 129 medals including 56 gold, 46 silver and 27 bronze medals. This put the team into a final 7th place out of more than 60 countries.
In 2009 the police team has no less than 23 world championships to defend, while Correctional Services, which has notched up more than 600 medals since 1995, are defending their world champion title in soccer.
Range of disciplines
This year the Department of Correctional Services is represented by a team of 145, of which 35 are women and 110 are men. In addition nine managers, one medic and one biokineticist will accompany the team.
The athletes are competing in a range of disciplines, including athletics, darts, badminton, golf, pistol shooting, rugby, soccer, squash, volleyball, cycling, karate, biathlon and fresh water angling.
The Police Service team, meanwhile, is competing in soccer, tennis, darts, lawn bowls, pistol shooting, combat rifle and bisley, athletics, body building, karate and judo, seven-a-side rugby, tug-of-war, cycling, squash and volleyball.
Participation in the games brings a new set of benefits to the tough job of law enforcement, including a sense of unity and camaraderie, relationship-building with other countries, knowledge-sharing, and enhanced physical fitness.
Law enforcement competition
The World Police and Fire Games were established in 1985 by the World Police and Fire Games Federation, an arm of the California Police Athletic Federation.
With almost 60 sports on offer, the games take place every two years. The prestigious event is open to both active and retired fire and law enforcement personnel from around the world, including correctional officers and customs officials.
The 2011 games will take place in