SA team wins 216 medals at Police, Fire Games

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pretoria - The team of Correctional Services officials representing South Africa at the13th World Police and Fire Games in Canada have clinched over 200 medals.

The 145-member team, which arrived back in the country on Wednesday, set a new record by bringing 216 medals home, beating the 163 medals achieved in the World Police and Fire Games of 2007. 

They team secured 86 gold medals, 59 silver and 71 bronze medals.

The nine-day international sporting spectacular brings together police, correctional officials and firefighters from around the world to participate in rugby, athletics, pistol shooting and soccer among others. 

"You have done us proud. Your excellent performance at the games is an indicator that we have among us the best in the world," said Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

"You have not done it only for us as Correctional Services, but you have placed South Africa on the world map as one of the top sporting nations of the world." 

She said the games contributed a great deal to strengthening the department's wellness programme

"Sports and Recreation help in ensuring that our officials take care of themselves holistically and gear themselves for better contributions in rehabilitating offenders and protecting our society", said Minister Mapisa-Nqakula. 

The department has been participating in the games since 1995 and the performance of the team has been improving steadily overtime with the team reaching record high levels this year. 

Manager of the Correctional Services' team, Hento Davids, summarized the experience as "exceptional competition and outstanding performance of Correctional Officials that endeared themselves to most spectators with their songs, dance and special vuvuzela renditions that were absolutely unique. 

"We have also built new and renewed friendships and networks that will last a lifetime," he said. 

The games, attracted over 10 000 participants from over 30 countries with sports tourists of over 35 000 this year, massively contributing to hosting country's revenue. 

South Africa is expected to bid to host the 2017 World Police and Fire Games.