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      Monday 29 Jul 2013

      A team of fire fighters from the George Best Belfast City Airport Fire Service are putting in their final hours of training before the 2013 World Police and Fire Games kick off in Belfast.

      The airport, which is located just minutes from Belfast City Centre, will welcome hundreds of competitors and spectators throughout the games and will be entering a team of 11 from its Fire Service.

      The team of 11 will compete in a number of events including 5-a-side football, indoor rowing, 100 metre sprint, dodgeball, triathlon, orienteering, Obel stair race, cross country and the extremely challenging Ultimate Fire Fighter.

      Neil Mercer, who is leading the team and will be competing in 5-a-side football, dodgeball, 100m sprint and Ultimate Fire Fighter, said:

      “Having the games in Belfast is extremely exciting. Being so close to home, it’s a terrific opportunity for everyone in Northern Ireland’s Fire and Police services to get involved with an event that attracts spectators and competitors from around the world.

      “As fire fighters we train all year and events such as dodgeball, the stair race and 5-a-side football have added an extra element of fun to our training.

      “The competitive streak in all of us is certainly coming out and everyone will be pushing for medals at the Games.

      “But most of all we’re excited to have members of Emergency Services from all over the world here in Northern Ireland and would like to extend a massive ‘Welcome’ to all competitors and spectators on behalf of George Best Belfast City Airport.”

      Rory Goldring, Crew Commander at George Best Belfast City Airport Fire Service, said:

      “At the Games I’m competing in 5-a-side football, orienteering and dodgeball.

      “I’m really excited to not only be taking part in the Games, but also to be working at the airport which, being so close to the city centre, will be welcoming so many of the competitors and spectators to Northern Ireland.

      “As a team we have been training hard all year and have been competing in a number of events to prepare us for the Games. I myself have been spending a lot of time in the hills with my map and compass preparing for the Orienteering event.”

      Stephen Mulholland, Fire Fighter at George Best Belfast City Airport Fire Service, said:

      “At the Games I will be taking part in the 100m sprint, dodgeball, indoor rowing and Ultimate Fire Fighter.

      “I think that competing on home turf and having our friends and family at the events to support us could give us an advantage over other competitors but we’re all very excited and ready for the Games to begin.”

      Tom Todd, Fire Fighter at George Best Belfast City Airport who will be competing in dodgeball and 5-a-side football at the Games, said:

      “The events I am competing in will depend heavily on team work. Within the Fire Service at Belfast City Airport we’re more like a family so team work really comes naturally.

      “We all get on so well together and work so well together. It all just clicks so hopefully that will show on the competition days and we’ll do ourselves, and Northern Ireland, proud.”

      Colin Coomber, who has been a Fire Fighter at George Best Belfast City Airport for 10 years, said:

      “This is the first time any of us will be competing at the World Police and Fire Games. We’ve been training hard and can’t wait to get started!

      “I will be taking part in the triathlon, indoor rowing and dodgeball events.

      “Hopefully competing so close to home will give us an advantage. We all have the same work and training ethics and have been training particularly hard.

      “I will be playing my heart out in every event but I know the whole team will be putting their all in to the Games to do our very best and make the airport proud!”

      The George Best Belfast City Airport Fire Service team has been taking part in a number of special training challenges, all of which can be viewed on the George Best Belfast City Airport Facebook page in the run up to and throughout the Games.