Thousands flock to Valley for Games

Hong Kong Police, winners of the ladies' 5v5 basketball competition at the Valley Leisure Centre, with their youngest supporter, Ryan Matthew. Pic by Philip McCloy
Hong Kong Police, winners of the ladies' 5v5 basketball competition at the Valley Leisure Centre, with their youngest supporter, Ryan Matthew. Pic by Philip McCloy

Thousands of visitors flocked to the Valley Leisure Centre to see the World Police and Fire Games basketball and table tennis tournaments.

Over the course of the event (August 1 - 10), the main halls at the leisure centre were handed over to the Games’ organisers for the two competitions.

The council has estimated that around 4,000 people visited the centre to watch the games take place between competitors from the emergency services from across the world.

Stephen Bartley, operations manager at the Valley said: “It was wonderful to host the basketball and table tennis tournaments and be part of the excitement the competitions created.

“It was a great opportunity to showcase our new look centre and over the course of the 10 days we had approximately 4,000 visitors.

“We’ve received positive feedback from visitors and the organisers, who have described our facilities as ‘first class’.”

The World Police and Fire Games came to a close at the weekend with the organisers hailing the event as a success and among the “friendliest” ever.

Newtownabbey Mayor, alderman Fraser Agnew said he was delighted to play a part in the games and watched both the basketball and table tennis in the Valley.

He added: “We have facilities in the Valley that have now received recognition on a world-wide level - it was a great boost for the borough.

“The competitors were very pleased with what we had to offer and I think we looked after them more than what they were expecting.

“They were very impressed and so was I, the competition was very good, there was a great spirit.”