Fairfax County, VA - August 3, 2009 - Team Fairfax, a local organization of representatives from Fairfax County's police, fire and sheriff departments, Fairfax County, Visit Fairfax, the Greater Washington Sports Alliance and others, including strong support from the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Commonwealth of Virginia, are proud to announce the selection of Fairfax County and the greater National Capital region as the host location for the 2015 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG). The proposed dates for the Games are June 26 - July 5, 2015.
Since the World Police and Fire Games were first held in 1985, the prestigious event has given tens of thousands of first responders from more than 65 countries around the globe the chance to showcase their athletic abilities, including members of Fairfax County's public safety community. Team Fairfax beat out finalist committees from Toronto and Winnipeg, Canada, for the honor of hosting the 30th anniversary of the Games in 2015.
"The 2015 Games in Fairfax County promise to deliver a lifetime of memories with celebrations and festivities worthy of the event's 30th anniversary, which happens to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Fairfax County Police Department," says Bruce Blechl, Executive Director of Team Fairfax, Lieutenant of the Fairfax County Police Department, and five-time WPFG competitor. "To be able to celebrate these anniversaries along with the birthday of America on the 4th of July in the Washington, DC area will be phenomenal."
"The race among the three finalists was extremely close," says Mike Graham, President of the World Police and Fire Games Federation. "The choice came down to the commitment from the Fairfax bid committee, from the governor down to local business leaders, the world-class facilities that are already in place to host the Games, as well as the passionate dedication to the WPFG of key members of Team Fairfax, including Lieutenant Blechl and Captain Jerome Williams."
Venues all across Fairfax County and the Greater DC area, including George Mason University, the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy, Fairfax County Regional Parks, the National Mall, Nationals Stadium, Reston Town Center, and Quantico Marine Base, will be home to over 60 different sporting events ranging from traditional competitions like soccer, basketball, tennis, running, and boxing, to events related to the job performance of public safety personnel (e.g., stair climbing, muster, shooting, SWAT exercises).
"This is an outstanding opportunity for Fairfax County to showcase our exceptional First Responders and the world-class destination that we are" notes Michael Frey, Fairfax County Supervisor for Sully District who represented the County on the bid committee.
"More so than any other special event I know or have been involved with, the contribution to quality of life and community pride engendered by hosting the World Police and Fire Games is unparalleled," says Visit Fairfax President & CEO Barry Biggar. "Our region is incredibly vibrant, with colorful, lively neighborhoods that offer great cuisine and an active nightlife for those seeking fun and entertainment after a hard day of competition, first-class attractions, exceptional air access and the best of all lodging."
"I can think of no greater place to honor the past, celebrate the present, and inspire the next generation of first responders - and all those who attend the Games - through unforgettable experiences that will resonate for years to come," says Blechl.
About the World Police & Fire Games
In 1985, the World Police & fire Games Federation, a non-profit organization run by the California Police Athletic Federation, established the World Police & Fire Games. Today, these Games are a spectacular 10-day international sporting event providing more than 10,000 active and retired police officers, firefighters, and other public safety servants from around the world the opportunity to showcase their athletic excellence in more than 60 sporting events. Held biennially on odd-numbered years, WPFG continues to grow in terms of attendance and number of participating countries. Upcoming host cities include New York City in 2011 and Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2013. Past games have been held in San Diego, Colorado, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Melbourne, Stockholm and Barcelona, to name a few.
About the Fairfax County Bid Committee
Team Fairfax is the local organizing committee led by representatives from Fairfax County's police, fire, and sheriff departments, and has active support and participation from the county's Board of Supervisors, Visit Fairfax, and Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Greater Washington Sports Alliance. Visit Fairfax is the official tourism organization for Fairfax County, Virginia. Charged with destination marketing and tourism promotion, it is directed by many of the County's top tourism and hospitality leaders. For more information, please visit http://www.fxva.com/.