As the President of the Victoria Police Games Federation (VPGF), a position I am proud to hold, I am honoured to launch the 2023 Victoria Police and Emergency Services Games.
We all know the benefits of an active lifestyle and the positive impact it can have on our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Finding time for family, friends, sport, or exercise is a challenge we all face, but it is particularly important for those working in the emergency management sector. The Victoria Police and Emergency Services Games are about more than competition – they are an opportunity for us to come together, prioritise our own physical and mental health, and invest in the friendships that characterise the spirit of the Games.
With the 2022 Games returning to a 10-day schedule and back to a more traditional setup, our agency members were spoiled for choice with over 43 sports to participate in. To kickstart the 2022 Games, I was fortunate to be joined by fellow agency leaders, VPGF Life Members, sports coordinators, and corporate partners, at URBN Surf in Tullamarine. We were treated to a surfing demonstration by several agency members – a fantastic preview ahead of the Games’ first ever surfing event to be held in a wave pool.
In addition to surfing, it was fantastic to introduce Powerlifting as a new sport for 2022, which proved to be popular with both men and women. Mountain biking returned from a two-year hiatus and a full triathlon, in partnership with the Western Suburbs Triathlon Club, was held for the first time in nearly ten years. Overall participation numbers were up 7% on 2021, with 2,563 participants overall. 30 different agencies were represented across the 10-day program, with a total of 4,167 individual entries into the events.
Congratulations to Corrections Victoria on winning the 2022 Inter-Services Trophy for the third year in a row, and the Transit and Public Safety Command on taking out the 2022 Chief Commissioners Trophy for the fifth consecutive year. But more importantly, congratulations to everyone who took part. There was wonderful comradery between the agencies and participants which confirmed why these Games are so important to Emergency Services workers.
The VPGF Committee and its stakeholders are hard at work planning for the 2023 Games. With the easing of COVID restrictions and the return of community sport over the past 12 months, we look forward to once again providing an opportunity for agency members to participate in some healthy competition. I am excited to introduce Sailing to the schedule for next year and look forward to continuing our strong partnerships with venues, local clubs and associations, local councils, and state and national sporting associations.
I am extremely grateful for the sustained support of our corporate partners and thank them for their investment in the 2023 Games. ESSSuper, APS Benefits, Transurban and BankVic are continuing as valued partners. Web developers FUSESport will again provide their generous support for our online registration portal and Games website. Their contribution is vital and will ensure that up- to-date information is available for all events and activities throughout the ten days of competition.
To our participating agency CEOs, senior executives, and leaders, thank you for continuing to encourage your members to prioritise their health and wellbeing by taking part in the Games.
Lastly, the Games are significant due to the diverse range of competitors coming together from participating agencies to be part of the fun. I encourage everyone to start preparing for the 2023 Games now to ensure they are a resounding success. Join with a friend, form a team, make a commitment to compete yourself, or encourage others to participate or volunteer.
It might just be you standing proudly on the podium at the end of the 2023 Games!
President - Victoria Police Games Foundation