Today I joined with the Justice Minister, David Ford, Cllr Pat Convery, Lord Mayor of Belfast, senior representatives from the PSNI, Fire Service and Prison Service, and Dame Mary Peters, to launch the 2013 World Police and Fire Games. Dame Mary has kindly taken on the role of patron for the WPFG.
Later week, at the Executive, we got approval for a budget for the WPFG and so we can now move forward to the next satge. So far the organisation of the games has been undertaken by an informal stakeholder group but it is proposed to set up a limited company to carry the project forward.
The games were in Vanouver last year, they will be in New York in 2011 and then they come to Belfast and Northern Ireland in 2013. There will be around 10,000 competitors in the games and another 10,000 to 15,000 people will accompany them. That will be a major boost for the tourist industry and not just during the games, because many of them will stay on beyond the games for a holiday.