|11 October 2001|
Firefighters' Games For City
Firefighters from around the world will compete in the sporting arena in Christchurch in October 2002 in the World Firefighters Games.
The games will be dedicated to the New York firemen and women and, in fact, may well be entitled the "World Firefighters Memorial Games."
But also there will be fire-fighting competitions, including the "Toughest Firefighter Alive."
Christchurch was short-listed to host the games at the last minute after Brisbane withdrew as host city after some organisational strife.
In its late bid Christchurch fought off challenges from Kuala Lumpur, New York, and Auckland.
The games originated in Auckland in 1990 and are held every two years in different countries. After Auckland, the games were held in Las Vegas, Perth, Edmonton, Durban, and Mantes, France, with up to 4000 competitors from 25 countries.
A minimum of 2000 competitors is expected to attend the Christchurch games although Brisbane had received more than 4000 expressions of interest.
Competition in Christchurch will involve more than 30 sports along with the purely fire-fighting disciplines.
The Toughest Firefighter Alive contest is one of strength and endurance. Some of the events are a 2.5km run wearing a 20kg backpack, a tunnel crawl with breathing apparatus and a 21-floor stair climb with breathing apparatus.
The New Zealand Fire Service and the Christchurch City Councils Leisure Unit will host the 2002 games.
The Units manager, Alistair Graham, said the games would be an exciting event for the city. "It is thrilling that the hard work done attracting other events to Christchurch, and successfully hosting them, has created this opportunity out of the blue," Mr. Graham said.
Further information: Alistair Graham, Leisure Unit Manager: 941 8881 or 025 330 937 and Brian Joyce, Fire Region Commander, Transalpine Fire Region: 371 3600 or 025 360 063.