The Intermountain Yudanshakai and regional judo community recently received word that the 2008 Western States Police & Firefighter Games are coming to Boise, ID and that judo will be a featured venue. In November of 2006, various police and fire agencies from throughout the Treasure Valley leaped in excitement in the announcement that Idaho won the winning bid and will be hosting the 2008 Western States Police & Firefighter Games.
The Games will run from August 16th – 23rd, a Saturday thru a Sunday, 2008. Competitions include 56 events in all, from golf, track & field, weight lifting, and the Olympic Sport of Judo. Estimated 5-6,000 competitors are expected from hundreds of police and fire agencies all over the west, bringing in an estimate of $10 – 12 Million dollars for the local economy.
Local judo clubs throughout the entire Intermountain Yudanshakai and various other judo organizations are planning on working very closely with the Games event committees. Even though judo has been a featured event at past Games, there is a sense of accomplishment in having a venue of this magnitude in Boise, ID. With ongoing support and successful delivery of such an event, judoka and YDK officials hope to show the country that Boise, ID is a great place to host other large scale judo events like the USA Senior & High School Nationals in the future.
“It’s been a dream to host these games,” said Corporal Mike Perkins of the Boise Police Department, a volunteer board member helping to organize the games. “We’re going to reach out to every agency in the Northwest, and we hope to make the Boise games the biggest yet outside the World competition.”
These games began some 40 years ago as competitions among California police and firefighters. When the Treasure Valley hosts the games in 2008, it will only be the third time the games have been held outside California. The events will be free and open to the public to watch. Eligible competitors must be full time firefighters or law enforcement employees. Events are open to any competitor.
“Tourism is big business for this valley,” said Lisa Edens of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, who were also very instrumental in bringing the winning bid to Idaho. “We are so excited to bring this event, along with the thousands of competitors and visitors to the Treasure Valley”
Mayor Tammy deWeerd from Meridian says city leaders have heard from other former host communities that the games are fun and profitable.
“This is going to be a big deal,” said Mayor deWeerd. “From all we’ve heard, these games are terrific events for kids and families to attend, and our police and firefighters to compete in. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to bring the games here.”
Background: The board, made up of members of police and fire agencies from Boise, Meridian, Nampa and Ada County, began creating a bid for the 2008 games some 9 months ago. The process included a site visit from the national and world event organizers, the California Police Athletic Foundation in August. During the site visit, all the proposed venues received either an “outstanding” or an “excellent” rating for the committee.
The bid was presented in Mesa, Arizona last week. When other cities interested in hosting the games, including Reno, Mesa, and Los Angeles saw the quality of the Idaho bid, all competitors agreed to postpone their own bids and allow Idaho to host the games in ’08.
So far, the costs for bringing the games to Idaho have been paid through community donations to the Boise PAL program (Police Activities League). Most of the costs for the games themselves are paid by competitor92s entry fees. The board will also try and raise approx. $150,000 in local sponsorship dollars to support the games.