City's Police Use Sports to Gear Up for Major Disasters | Western Cape Government



City's Police Use Sports to Gear Up for Major Disasters

13 September 2005
During the past five years, the world has experienced some of the worst man-made and natural disasters, and it is crucial for South Africa's metropolitan police services to network more closely and share world-class safety strategies.

Speaking in Wynberg today (13 September 2005) at the launch of the first ever national metropolitan police sports tournament, Councillor David Erleigh, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety, said that such events were important for metropolitan police officers across the country to forge friendships and establish professional relations with each other.

The tournament, which takes place from 13 to 15 September 2005 at the Wynberg Military Base, is being hosted by the City of Cape Town.

A total of 322 athletes from the metropolitan police services of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, the East Rand, the Swartland and Cape Town, will compete against each other in soccer, netball, volleyball, darts, pool and shooting.

"This event gives us an opportunity to share the unique characteristics of our profession with like-minded colleagues. The modern concept of metropolitan policing is very different from the old. In fact it should be described as a 'service' rather than a 'force'," says Cllr Erleigh.

"The watch word for today's style of metropolitan policing is community policing. The City Police are in daily contact with the people on the ground. As such it has the greatest potential to make a difference to the lives of people at grassroots level.

"The sensitive nature of their work is much more dynamic and interactive, demanding high standards of people skills. And it is through sports and healthy competition, that police men and women are given an opportunity to develop these skills.

"As we gear up for the summer holidays, this tournament will act as an important catalyst to help kickstart us into a state of readiness for the festive season," says Councillor Erleigh.

"This event is also about promoting employee wellness. Sporting activities can help individuals keep in sound physical, mental, emotional and spiritual shape. We cannot look after others, unless we first look after ourselves," he says.

According to event co-ordinator, Nowellen Petersen of Cape Town's Safer Cities programme, the sports tournament is set to become an annual event which will be hosted at a different metropole each year.

Issued by:
Communication and Marketing
City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400-2201
Fax: 021 957 0023

Lisle Brown
Media Liaison Officer - City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400 3065
Cell: 084 888 1901

Media Queries:
Nowellen Petersen
Programme Facilitator: Safer Cities Programme
City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400 1674
Cell: 083 671 1483

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