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Police and Fire Department rugby teams from all over the world will converge on New York City this weekend to participate in the rugby event at the World Police & Fire Games.

The event is especially meaningful for all the participants, because we are coming up on the 10th anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. New Yorkers are especially affected by that anniversary, and certainly so are members of the law enforcement and firefighting communities, as hundreds of police officers and firefighters lost their lives on that day – many of them rugby players.

"We knew that New York was happening this year, and that would be a great target to aim for," said Calgary police rugby team coach Colin Foster. "It's going to be very emotional. There's going to be that lump in the back of the throat, one or two tears shed."

“Sometimes in New York we forget that events of 9-11 impacted people on a global scale,” said FDNY team director Dave Melendez. “There were folks from all over the world in those buildings. As for the impact on firefighters and police; I feel we are all affected whenever one of our brothers or sisters are lost. There is a camaraderie and bond that we all share that transcends borders, languages/countries, politics and cultures. I have visited firehouses throughout the world and I have found commonalities like helping others, selfless service, and the banter shared around the kitchen table. The same goes for rugby.”

The competition will be varied this weekend, with teams from Canada, the UK, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand competing. All want to be a part of this special brotherhood (and sisterhood as the USA and Canada enter combined women’s teams, and the New South Wales Fire and Rescue will compete also).

All, also, want to win.

“We are getting ready for a successful campaign,” said Melendez, who has played rugby as a private citizen, a firefighter, and a soldier. “Coach and captain Ron Kemly has put the teams through a rigorous training schedule and had us playing in various 7s tournaments in preparation for the Games. We are certain that the competition will be tough from the Open Division to the Over-35 Division. There is plenty of experience on the pitch and many stellar athletes with most of teams playing together for years.”

FDNY made the podium two tournaments ago in Australia and want to return to those lofty heights again, especially on home turf, and at such an emotional time.

The team will be wearing their 343 patch and the WTC silhouette on their uniforms.

“These Games are a great way to show the world the New York resolve and resilience of New York and America during the past ten years,” said Melendez, who has missed some games for FDNY due to deployments at Guantanamo Bay (where, as Rugby Magazine pointed out, rugby is growing) and Iraq. “I feel very honored to be able to play. It is going to be awesome to be around all these athletes and safety professionals, to compete and remember.”

The tournament begins the morning of Sunday, August 28, at Randall's Island in New York. For more information on the World Police & Fire Games, go to http://2011wpfg.org/


World Police & Fire Games Rugby Schedule

Sunday Aug 28th


Field 74

Field 75

8:00







8:30

Italy

DII

Calgary PD

HM Prison (1)

DII

FDNY (2)

9:00

Barcelona

DII

HM Prison (2)

FDNY (1)

DII

Calgary FD

9:30

NYPD (1)

DII

N. Ireland PD

N. Vancouver

DII

France

10:00

Clark County

DII

Hong Kong PD

NSWFB

35+

S Wales FD

10:30

Cleveland Fire

35+

S Wales PD

HM Prison Service

35+

Calgary police

11:00

FDNY

35+

Italian State Fire

New Zealand Fire

DI

WPI 1

11:30

Paris

DI

WPI 4

NSWFB

DI

WPI 2

12:00

WPI 6

DI

WPI 7

WPI 3

DI

WPI 5

12:30

Chicago

DII

LPI 2

NYPD (2)

DII

LPI 1

13:00

LPI 3

DII

LPI 5

LPI 4

DII

LPI 6

13:30

FDNY

45+

NSWFB - 2

Italian State Fire

35+

Cleveland Fire

14:00

HM Prison

45+

NSWFB - 1

FDNY

35+

Victoria

14:30

New Zealand Fire

DI

WPI 3

Paris

DI

WPI 6

15:00

NSWFB

DI

WPI 4

WPI 1

DI

WPI 7

15:30

WPI 5

DI

WPI 2

NYPD (2)

DII

LPI 3

16:00

Chicago

DII

LPI 4

LPI 1

DII

LPI 7

16:30

LPI 2

DII

LPI 6

Italian State Fire

35+

Victoria

17:00

FDNY

35+

S Wales PD




Monday Aug 29th


74

75

8:00







8:30

New Zealand

DI

WPI 5

WPI 1

DI

WPI 7

9:00

Paris

DI

WPI 2

NSWFB

DI

WPI 6

9:30

WPI 4

DI

WPI 3




10:00

Chicago

DII

LPI 6

NYPD (2)

DII

LPI 5

10:30

LPI 5

DII

LPI 1

LPI 2

DII

LPI 4

11:00

NSWFB - 1

45+

NSWFB - 2

Cleveland

45+

FDNY

11:30

NSWFB

35+

Calgary police

S Wales FD

35+

HM Prison Service

12:00

Italian State Fire

35+

S Wales PD

Cleveland Fire

35+

Victoria

12:30

WPI 1

DI

WPI 5

New Zealand

DI

WPI 7

13:00

WPI 2

DI

WPI 6

NSWFB

DI

Paris

13:30

WPI 3

DI

WPI 4




14:00

Chicago

DII

LPI 6

LPI 2

DII

LPI 4

14:30

NYPD (2)

DII

LPI 5

LPI 3

DII

LPI 7

15:00

Cleveland

45+

NSWFB - 2

HM Prison

45+

FDNY

15:30

FDNY

35+

Cleveland Fire

S Wales PD

35+

Victoria

16:00

NSWFB

35+

HM Prison Service

S Wales FD

35+

Calgary police

Tuesday Aug 30th


74

75

8:00







8:30







9:00







9:30







10:00

Canada 1

W

USA

Canada 2

W

NSWFB

10:30

HM Prison

45+

NSWFB - 2

Cleveland

45+

NSWFB - 1

11:00

Winner A

DII

Runner up B

Winner B

DII

Runner up A

11:30

Winner B

DI

Runner up A

Winner A

DI

Runner up B

12:00

Winner A

35+

Runner up B

Winner B

35+

Runner up A

12:30

HM Prison

45+

Cleveland

FDNY

45+

NSWFB - 1

13:00

Canada 1

W

USA

Canada 2

W

NSWFB

13:30

Bronze - DI

Bronze - DII

14:00

Gold - DII

Gold - DI

14:30

Canada 1

W

Canada 2

USA

W

NSWFB