Olympic-style police and fire games take on Torrey Pines

Providing multiple opportunities to compete, cooperate and bolster camaraderie, thousands of first responders are competing this week in Olympic-style games, which end Saturday, June 15.

The 57th annual US Police & Fire Championships began June 8 at 28 different venues around San Diego and one in La Jolla.

Offering police officers, firefighters and other first responders 38 different sports to choose from, the USPFC are also hosting golf games at Torrey Pines Golf Course locally June 11 and 12. 

Hundreds of golfers competed in several divisions including men’s, women’s and by age.

All the games – which include bench press, dodgeball, pickleball, rowing, baseball, bowling and more – aim to allow first responders to improve their overall fitness, reduce stress and increase their professional abilities.

The championships are open to active or retired first responders and public safety personnel across the country, including volunteer firefighters, crime scene investigators and 911 dispatchers, according to Ken Darnell, director of the golf games.

Originally called the “California Police Olympics,” the USPFC began in San Diego in 1967 with 16 sports and were open only to police officers, Darnell said.

Now run by the nonprofit California Police Athletic Federation, the games grew substantially through the years, including firefighters in 2000 and expanding to other first responders in 2023. 

The championships took a brief hiatus from San Diego in 2005, traveling to cities like San Jose, Sacramento and Reno, Nevada, before returning to – and staying in – San Diego in 2012.

Participating athletes register on the CPAF website for a sport then show up and compete, Darnell said, in a welcoming environment of peers from many backgrounds.

“We welcome you in,” he said.

Serving as a police officer or firefighter is “a noble cause; it’s an honorable thing to do,” Darnel said. The USPFC helps those first responders build camaraderie. 

“A lot of our groups work together,” he said, with teams coming together from all over the country.

“The competition that you get … is just awesome,” Darnell added. “It’s a great thing … for health and wellness. Get out there, get your exercise, mix with everybody and hopefully stay normal when you’re in a high stress job.”

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Follow & Subscribe

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Enjoying our content?

Your contribution helps support our small local team of journalists in continuing to bring you quality content and news about La Jolla.
ADVERTISEMENT

Recommended Posts

Most Popular

Follow & Subscribe

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Everything happening in La Jolla, sent right to your inbox!

Enjoying our content?

Your contribution helps support our small local team of journalists in continuing to bring you quality content and news about La Jolla.
ADVERTISEMENT

Most Popular

All News Categories

What's new in La Jolla?

Stay connected with regular updates on all things La Jolla, CA

Join your fellow La Jolla enthusiasts and get the latest local news stories, exciting events, inspiring roundups for the top things to do, the best eats in town, new businesses, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.

Get the latest local news stories, see upcoming events, top activities and restaurants, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.

Join your fellow La Jolla enthusiasts and get the latest local news stories, exciting events, inspiring roundups for the top things to do, the best eats in town, new businesses, plus exclusive subscriber-only deals.