‘It’s been magnificent’: Volunteers make World Police and Fire Games a success

The World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) came to a close Sunday after ten days of athletic competition, and organizers, athletes, and volunteers all say Winnipeg has done an excellent job of hosting the international event.

The games concluded Sunday with a full slate of track and field events at the University of Manitoba.

Stuart Sutton traveled from Australia to compete in the hammer, discus, and shot put competitions. This is the third time Sutton has attended the games, and he says it’s been the best organized.

“It’s been magnificent,” he said. “The best officiating so far, they really knew what they were doing, and the volunteers were excellent as well.”

Sutton is a firefighter from New South Wales who took in everything Winnipeg had to offer during the week he was here.

“The food scene’s great, even just visiting some of the breweries because they’ve got a big brewery scene here, just to have one or two,” said Sutton.

He also drove out to Gimli, visited the Assiniboine Park Zoo, and went to see Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Winnipeg Goldeyes games. Sutton said he’s had an amazing time.

“The people in this city have been really warm, and they love the fact that 8,500 of us have come here,” he said.

Chris Harrison is a retired RCMP officer who has been volunteering for the games. He said attendance could have been better, but the events have been fun to watch.

“We haven’t had as many spectators as we would have liked, but lots of countries showed up and we have lots of close competition,” he said.

WPFG organizers tell CTV News around 2,800 people volunteered to help run the games, from officials to drivers to venue workers. Chief operating officer Mike Edwards said the volunteers have been incredible.

“That’s the feedback that we’re hearing from the athletes, is that they have never seen a volunteer crew and a volunteer committee do so much and just take care of them,” said Edwards.

He said organizing the games has been a learning experience for all of them, but one that he wouldn’t trade for anything.

“These volunteers made these games a success, there’s no other way to say it.”

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