Police and fire departments all across the state are getting ready to send their best to Gainesville for the Olympics-style 2021 Georgia Police and Fire Games.
The games are set to begin on Sunday, June 20, and last until June 26 in areas all across Gainesville. Director of Tourism in Gainesville, Robyn Lynch said that the city is ready to host the games.
“In addition Gainesville-Hall County has many incredible sports facilities and these games give us the opportunity to show them off, and finally we are able to bring in new visitors to our area and show them why Gainesville is known as the Hospitality Capital of the World,” Lynch said.
The week of games will kick off on Sunday with a Red and Blue 5k race open to the public at 8 a.m at Roosevelt Square. Several events are then scheduled each day through Saturday.
Schedule of events
Monday: Bass fishing tournament, 7:30 a.m., Laurel Park; clay shoot, 8 a.m., Walters Barn; cycling, 9 a.m., Lake Lanier Olympic Park; crossfit, 10 a.m., CrossFit Northeast Georgia; 3-on-3 basketball, 1 p.m., Gainesville High School; wing-eating contest, 7 p.m., Wild Wing Cafe
Tuesday: Toughest cop competition, 8 a.m., Hall County Sheriff's Office Training Center; golf tournament, 9 a.m., Chicopee Woods; archery, 10 a.m., Gainesville Archery Club; 3-on-3 basketball finals and a 3-point challenge, 1 p.m., Gainesville High School
Wednesday: 2-man golf scramble, 9 a.m., Chicopee Woods; sniper and long-range rifle competition, 8 a.m., Hall County Sheriff's Office Training Center; toughest firefighter competition, 9 a.m., Hall County Fire Training Center
Thursday: Pistol match, 8 a.m., Hall County Sheriff's Office New Range; toughest competitor challenge, 9 a.m., Free Chapel; 4-man golf scramble, 9 a.m., Chicopee Woods; bowling singles and doubles, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Gainesville Bowling Center Station 300; combat shooting, 1 p.m., Hall County Sheriff's Office New Range.
Saturday: Softball, 8 a.m., Lanier Point Park; motorcycle rodeo, 8 a.m., Laurel Park; S.W.A.T., 8:30 a.m., Hall County Sheriff's Office Training Center; mountain biking, 9 a.m., Fox Factory Trails in Road Atlanta.
Around 800 participants from all over the state have signed up to compete in the many different games with even more expected to sign up.
Members of the Gainesville Police Department are ready to represent the city in the competition. One of these includes Detective Maricela Del Rio from the Criminal Investigations Division, who is participating in the toughest competitor, CrossFit, and tennis, said her main focus is to have fun.
“I think this helps bring our community together in a less stressful environment, and allows for public safety personnel from all over to show each other support,” Del Rio said. “A couple of us have been training together, and in ways that is allowing us to bond.”
Lt. David Franklin and Capt. John Hopkins from the Gainesville Fire Department are teaming up in the fishing tournament as first time competitors. Franklin said that the games help build camaraderie and relationships outside of the department and serious training.
Apart from competing, many are volunteering to host several of the games. Lt. Greg Cochran of the Hall County Sheriff's Office is hosting the powerlifting and toughest competitor events after two years of competing in the past.
“This type of event helps build relationships between people through the state and an entire profession,” Cochran said.
The public is encouraged to come out and show their support for first responders at the games. It’s recommended to bring your own chairs, cushions, blankets, beverages and drinks along with welcome signs available at the Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau or homemade ones.