Registration for the 2015 World Police & Fire Games opened at noon Oct. 1.
About 12,000 athletes are expected to participate in the various events set for June 26-July 5 in Fairfax County, Va.
“Things are going very well. We're thrilled to be hosting the games,” said Bill Knight, President and CEO of Fairfax 2015.
The opening ceremony is set for 6 p.m. June 26 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. There will be a fee to attend.
Events that include everything from soccer and hockey to wrist wrestling and motor cross will be held at various venues throughout the Washington Metropolitan area.
Firefighters and officers from more than 70 countries usually participate with the majority coming from the United States and Canada. Only sworn officers and firefighters are allowed to participate. Military police officers and firefighters as well as volunteer firefighters, and paramedics are ineligible.
Knight encourages participants to register early as popular events will close once they reach capacity.
He credited two men – Fairfax County Battalion Chief Jerome Williams and Fairfax County Police Lt. Bruce Blechl for working to bring the games to Virginia.
“While they lived near one another, they met in Stockholm, and thought it would be a great idea to bring the event here,” Knight said.
Organizers also are hoping to get about 2,500 to 4,000 volunteers as well.
“We definitely can’t do this without a lot of help. Applications for volunteers can be found on our website…”
While the events are free, there will be a charge to attend the opening ceremony. Fairfax County and Virginia as well as corporations have donated to help off-set the costs. Athletes also have to pay a registration fee.
Knight said he sees the local area benefiting from the Games as athletes usually bring their families and friends.
Organizers will be encouraging the visitors to use public transportation when possible.