Hudson’s Finest Heading to Belfast to Compete in World Police and Fire GamesAugust 2, 2013
By Pat Rolman
On Wednesday, July 31, one of Hudson Police Department’s officers, Roger Lamarche, will be traveling to Belfast, Ireland to represent the police department and United States in the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG). The WPFG are a prestigious international competition pitting the world’s top first responders exclusively against each other in various Olympic and team sports. Additional events include an Ultimate Firefighter challenge which is similar to an obstacle course race while wearing firefighting apparatus. Lamarche will be competing in the Javelin Throw and Freestyle Wrestling.
In 1985, the World Police and Fire Games Federation, a non-profit organization, run by the Californian Police Athletics Federation, established the World Police and Fire Games. The event is held biannually and it is a requirement that athletes are active or retired Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters. The sites of the games change and have been held in locations like Adelaide in Australia, Barcelona in Spain, Quebec City in Canada and Stockholm, Sweden.
Lamarche competed in the games in New York City in 2011 for the first time. He took second in his division in the javelin throw. “I knew about the games before I even became a police officer. I’ve always had it in mind to compete in them. When they were held in NYC, I figured that was close enough to give it a shot.” Lamarche said he was amazed how big the games really were. “When I got down to NYC, they had an athlete’s village, similar to the actual Olympics. There were athletes from all over the world. I never realized how much of a big deal it was.”
Lamarche was an All-New England javelin thrower in college at UMass-Lowell and has his eyes set on taking home a gold medal this time. He will be the only American throwing in his division in Belfast. “I saw the entry list, and I’ll be competing against guys from Finland, Poland, China and India. It should be interesting. Javelin is huge in Finland, we grow up throwing footballs in the US, they grow up throwing javelins in Finland.” says Lamarche.
Additionally, Lamarche is also going to wrestle. “I wrestled in high school, and two of the other officers I’m traveling with are wrestling, so they suggested I do that as well.” He will be traveling with Pelham Police Sergeant TJ O’Donnell and New Hampshire State Police Trooper Brian Viglione. “Those two guys are world class. TJ has won this event a few times and Brian medaled in NYC. I hope to see them win and see how much hardware we can bring back home.” Lamarche said O’Donnell was actually his first coach in high school and one of his role models growing up. “To compete next to TJ is special for me, he is one of the reasons I’m a police officer today, and he’s a great mentor for me.” When asked about what he is looking forward to most, Lamarche says “I’m proud and honored to be able to represent Hudson Police Department, Hudson and our country for the games.” And speaking about travelling to Ireland he says “I’ve been told by so many people it’s a wonderful country to visit. Plus I hear a pint of Guinness is different over there.”
The WPFGs are held August 1 through August 10. Schedules and results for the games can be found at: www.2013wpfg.com.