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Forget the Olympics this is the big one

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Guest Baabaa Productions

The World Firefighter games is being held in my home city of Liverpool so....

Let The Games Begin!:flex:



Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Thousands of firefighters from 38 countries descended on Liverpool’s Echo Arena and piazza to celebrate the opening of the 10th World Firefighters Games.


A spectacle of music, dance and sport began with an Olympic style parade round the piazza with each of the countries represented by competitors behind their national flags.


The parade was led by the Irish Guards down Keel Wharf and behind Jurys Inn to the staging of an attempt to break the world record for the number of people singing Beatles hit Hey Jude.


The official opening ceremony took place in the brand new £160 million Echo Arena. Formally opened by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, there were also video messages from Prime Minister Gordon Brown and HRH The Prince of Wales.


Tony McGuirk, Chief Fire Officer, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service welcomed competitors, volunteers and the public of Liverpool to the Games. Liverpool City Council leader and firefighter Warren Bradley spoke on behalf of the City and Trevor Pateman from the Games governing organization said how excited he was about the whole 10 days.


Entertainment included The Love and Joy Gospel Choir with Jenny Strype from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service performing Amazing Grace.


There was the Grand Final of the Toughest Young Fire Crew Competition in which Warwickshire beat Essex Fire and Rescue Service. Beatles tribute band, the Blue Meanies brought a taste of the sixties to proceedings and there was a spectacular ending provided by street dancing and acrobatics from Brouhaha and Parkour.


Tony McGuirk said afterwards: “It was a special day for everyone who was there and a fantastic start 10 days of sporting competition, social events and firefighters meeting old friends and making new ones. The Arena was buzzing and the piazza was a splash of colour.”


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