Freshman Heleena Aseefa, W.T. Woodson – Fairfax, VA
World Police & Fire Games
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This year’s host of the International Police and Fire Games is Fairfax, Virginia. The games provide a venue for police, law enforcement, firefighters and first responders from all over the world to compete. For many, the long preparation beforehand is just as important as the games. Straight: Urban Voice freshman Heleena Assefa of W.T Woodson High School in Fairfax tells us the games also promote unity and respect.
For Second Lieutenant Tony Shobe using the treadmill is part of a well-orchestrated routine.
“I run 2 to 3 days a week. I do sprints another day of the week, and it’s all in preparation for these games.”
Shobe is competing in Softball with his colleagues from the Sherriff’s office in Fairfax County, Virginia. He’s not only participating as an athlete, however…
“I’m also the director of sports for the world police and fire games, specifically Fairfax 2015.”
And it’s been a four year project for him with 61 different sports, 53 different venues, 10,000 athletes and 4,000 volunteers, coordinating the games is a massive undertaking.
“ So, sports, is one big part of it, but the transportation piece, the medical piece, the food and beverage piece, the logistics piece. … (butt cut) I mean this is going to be a once in a lifetime event, in Fairfax county.”
Not only has Shobe seen a shift in the community, he’s also noticed change in his colleagues at the Sheriff’s office.
“I’ve seen an up – tick in the people we have here in our weight room here in the sheriff’s office. We’ve talked to competitors in Fairfax County here that are… that really… they’ve pumped up their training to prepare for these games.”
Among those colleagues is Sergeant Shaun Timothy. Timothy will be competing in the swim portion of the Games. After more than a decade out of the pool, Timothy welcomed the chance to dive back in the water
“I hadn’t been in a competitive atmosphere in 15 years, so me getting back in the water and on the blocks and being prepared to race another individual in that setting… it was a big step for me.”
Timothy is completing 10 hours of training a week on his own time, both in the pool…and in the gym…
He says that the 10 hours of training is well worth it.
“It goes from city to city all across the world and now it’s in our backyard and it’s a fantastic opportunity.”Deputy Adam Ushramski, Deputy Davis, Sergeant Barr, Sheriff Stacy Kincaid, Deputy Chris Loftis, P.F.C Luwin
Fellow competitor Deputy Adam Ushramaski of the Fairfax county Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard shares that sentiment
“I would say that the biggest thing that I would like to gain and I’m sure a lot of other competitors would like to gain is just the opportunity to compete as an Olympic athlete. … with it being in our hometown now we all have the opportunity to call ourselves an Olympic athlete.”
Honor Guard is one of the many events athletes can choose to compete in. Deputy Chris Loftis will be representing Fairfax in the Honor Guard competition
“As far as training goes it’s long and it’s stressful and it is physically taxing but there’s an end goal in sight and that’s obviously being one of the top teams that competes in the competition and to represent Fairfax well.”
Aside from the intense training and grueling competition, these games work to promote physical fitness within law enforcement. Sergeant Timothy notes what resonates with him is the opportunity to celebrate dedication and sacrifice in public security.
“You see how many people shake hands before and after. And that’s what it’s about.”
The International Police and Fire games will commence on June 26th 2015.