THE WORLD IS RETURNING TO BIRMINGHAM, HOOVER
The World Games 2022 may be over, but sports enthusiasts, hang on! The world will return to the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan area in just three years for the 2025 World Police and Fire Games (WPFG).
The WPFG is an Olympic-style competition featuring anywhere from 85-hundred to ten-thousand athletes representing active and retired firefighters, law enforcement, and police officers from around the world. The athletes can include officials from areas such as corrections, probation, border protection, immigration and customs. The WPFG are held every two years and more than 65 countries normally participate.
Athletes compete in more than 65 sports including: angling, boxing, cycling, dodgeball, golf, karate, pistol and rifle, softball, soccer, kite surfing, tennis, track and field, volleyball, wrestling and a special competition called the Ultimate Firefighter.
The WPFG are taking place in Rotterdam, Netherlands this week. And a contingency of officials from Birmingham and Jefferson County attended the event as part of an observation effort. That included David Galbaugh with the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Ammons, Chaz Mitchell and Don Lupo with the City of Birmingham, Jim Coker with the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency, members of the local organizing committee for the WPFG and vendors that will work with staff.
"A lot of us had never seen the WPFG before, so we to see what exactly they look like," Galbaugh says. "We also gave a report to the the Federation of the WPFG of what's going on in Birmingham for 2025. There was also a reception for social networking where we could begin to recruit athletes to come."
in 2020, WPFG officials announced Birmingham as the host city for the 2025 event. The competitions will be held at thirty-five venues across the metro. This will include Hoover. Local officials say at this time, they are still working to determine what specific sports will be played there. But the stadium at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex might be a good fit for the softball competitions considering it's where the softball competitions for the World Games 2022 were just held earlier this month. Also, the stadium has hosted the SEC Baseball Tournament for over twenty years.
After seeing the WPFG firsthand, Galbaugh says it will be an exciting time for the entire area.
I think it was phenomenal," he describes. "To see the parade of athletes at the beginning was special, seeing the excitement. It was great to watch the competitions and see the athletes get medals. I can't wait to have it here in Birmingham. 2025 will be here before you know it and we want to build excitement for these games, too."
To learn more about the World Police and Fire Games, you can visit: https://wpfgrotterdam2022.com/