Monday, 15 April 2024
Monday, 15 April 2024

Fire crew commander takes ‘hockey gold’ at World and Police Fire Games in Rotterdam

A Stourport on Severn firefighter has recently returned from Rotterdam after helping his team win gold for the UK Fire Service Hockey team, at the World and Police Fire Games.

Crew Commander Wayne ‘Chuck’ Berry, 49 and serving at Wyre Forest fire station, linked up with British and international fire athletes in Rotterdam to compete in these annual games.

Having arrived and checked in for these acclaimed championships, Wayne soon found himself joining fellow athletes from around the world at the colourful opening ceremony in front of 10,000 cheering spectators held at Feyenoord FCs Stadium.

Wayne with his gold medal
Wayne with his gold medal

Wayne – who also represents HWFRS in football and cricket – was among thousands of competitors who paraded in front of the supporters for the opening ceremony and the torchlight parade.

A staggering 60-plus different sports feature in the week-long Games, including a half marathon, in one of Rotterdam’s top stadiums as well as around the city.

For Wayne, having settled in, revelled in the opening ceremony and met fellow British teammates as well as international police and fire contestants, there was little time for relaxation as he soon ‘got down to business for his first game, helping beat the Dutch police 4-0.

With the Dutch team beating Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) 2-1, victory was clearly on the cards as Wayne and comrades could see that drawing with, or beating, PSNI would clinch Gold for them.

Wayne’s team dominated throughout, scoring a staggering 10 goals to PSNI’s 3, making them World and Police Fire Games Field Hockey Gold Medallists.

Hockey wasn’t over for Wayne though, and after the medal ceremony, the three teams played an exhibition match against the Dutch disability hockey team.

One of the Championship highlights for Wayne, it gave him the opportunity to get to know the disabled team and help lay on an action-packed, fun occasion which gave them their own chance to collect participants’ medals.

Unexpectedly, the Dutch disabled team’s goalkeeper collapsed from heat exhaustion, but great teamwork from the UK Fire team, quickly bringing their Trauma training to bear, allowed them to respond immediately – helping him to a rapid recovery and allowing him to claim his medal alongside his teammates, after being checked over by the paramedics.

Wayne, who joined the fire service in 1995 and has 2 children with his wife Niki said:

“The World Police and Fire Games were a truly inspiring event which I was thrilled to be able to participate in and to have the opportunity to represent my own Service and UK Fire.

“I would like to thank Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service for all their support in allowing me to take part.

“The event was amazing and I would recommend anybody interested in sport to consider representing UK Fire – there are plenty of events taking place throughout the week, so there is something for everyone, whatever your own particular sport.”

You can find out more about the event at wpfgrotterdam2022.com/.

The next games are being held in Winnipeg, Canada in 2023.

2023 World Police & Fire Games (wpfg2023.com)

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