Column Wim de Rooij - New dates: 22 to 31 July 2022

The decision to move the World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) in Rotterdam from 2021 to 2022 lies behind us. We are now a few months further on and the choice made to postpone the WPFG has turned out to be a good one, because the coronavirus is still raging around us. We are not rid of this virus yet, and 2021 gives us a chance to slowly recover from it. In 2022, we can meet each other again and together make the WPFG into a fantastic event.

After the decision to postpone the WPFG, some other decisions had to be taken, of course. What should we do about the name, for example? Should we keep it as WPFG Rotterdam 2021, or make it 2022? It was decided to opt for the latter, as this would be the clearest option for competitors. Needless to say, suitable dates also had to be found, and that was quite a challenge. The World Federation was naturally involved in this decision, but also the City of Rotterdam, because it is responsible for granting the permit. In addition, the largest sports venues such as Rotterdam Ahoy, the Feyenoord stadium for the opening ceremony and the location for the Athletes Village all had to be available. Step by step, we came closer to a solution. Due to the coronavirus, several other sports events moved to 2022, so availability was not always automatic.

After a lot of fine-tuning, we finally arrived at the dates of 22 to 31 July 2022. The Federation, the City of Rotterdam, the four services and other stakeholders have all agreed to these dates. All the activities are now focused on those 10 days in July, and that involves an enormous amount of work. The sports venues need to be approached again, and contracts have to be adapted. The contracts of the sports coordinators also need to be extended for another year. And what about the athletes? They have an extra year to train and to look forward to the finest edition ever.

The strange year 2020 is coming to an end now and we are looking forward to a better 2021. A year in which hopefully a vaccine will protect us from this invisible enemy. And with that protection, we can once again go full steam ahead to make the WPFG Rotterdam 2022 a great success for all the competitors and also for ourselves.