Mike Edwards

 COO, 2023 World Police & Fire Games

Mike Edwards

COO, 2023 World Police & Fire Games

In today’s hectic environment, it’s critical to take a break from your busy schedule. Participation in team sports and fostering our inner athlete has become even more important. One excellent illustration of this is the 2023 World Police & Fire Games. These events, which resemble sizable get-togethers, are organized especially for the amazing people who dedicate their life to ensuring our safety. They have long needed a platform to employ in addition to their regular duties, and the World Police & Fire Games is a welcome platform.

But of course hosting and running such an event effectively isn’t easy, and this is where personalities such as Mike Edwards, the Chief Operating Officer of the 2023 World Police & Fire Games shine bright as go-to leaders.

How it all Began

Being that person who was always interested in sports since his early years, Mike Edwards was appointed as a red shirt for his University Basketball team, which was a motivating factor for him and helped him realize his long term goal. At Brock University he was accepted to the highly competitive Sport Management Program, and all thanks to the high paced environment at Brock, he was taught how to develop capabilities of hosting large scale events, despite all the problems which were associated with it. Mike Edwards shares – “I have had the opportunity to deliver major sport events and multi-sport Games my entire career and when the Grey Cup was canceled for 2020, I was contacted by a recruiter to see if I would be interested in leading on the 2023 World Police & Fire Games Host Society to deliver the Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba”.

When we personally asked Mike Edwards the reason behind taking up a leadership position at the 2023 World Police & Fire Games, he indicated his profound admiration and respect for first responders, and of course the amount of work and effort they put in – day in and day out. Knowing he could take his skillset, experience and expertise to show first responders from around the world the appreciation for everything they do for us as citizens was the driving force behind his decision to take on this role.

As the COO

Mike Edwards established clear objectives for the 2023 World Police & Fire Games. His primary focus was on enhancing the overall experience for athletes, volunteers, and stakeholders, aiming to elevate the Games to a new standard of sophistication, organization, and sport delivery.

In his role as the COO, Mike Edwards placed a paramount emphasis on safety. This is achieved through close collaboration with sport governing bodies, local medical services/agencies, and paramedics to implement the most rigorous safety measures. Also, these strategic partnerships resulted in the development of comprehensive policies, processes, and strategies, ensuring preparedness for any possible scenario involving the various groups on venue. Additionally, Mike recognized the importance of fostering a cooperative team environment, especially in the high-pressure context of delivering the Games. Daily check-ins, meetings, and engaging activities were implemented to remind team members to savor the event and appreciate the moments as they unfold. Mike became the main source of collective support which is crucial in such a high-intensity, high-stress situation.

Furthermore, Mike Edwards was instrumental in fostering a robust team culture centered around collaboration and teamwork. This was achieved through the implementation of regular planning meetings, which focused on identifying interdependencies between departments, and the incorporation of team-building activities. Given the time constraints, building and maintaining such a culture in a short period was a challenging task. Normally, the organizational life cycle of forming, storming, and norming takes years to progress through. In the context of the Games, this process needed to be condensed into just one to two years. Establishing trust and open communication played a pivotal role, underlining the significance of the One Team approach in the team’s ultimate success.

Revolutionizing Game Promotion and Delivery

In his leadership, Mike Edwards recognized that the most effective way to engage with athletes and potential participants was through social media. Their strategy involved utilizing various social media platforms, combining both paid and earned media, to not only reach athletes on a global scale but also to widely promote the Games. This approach led to a remarkable increase in activity and engagement, surpassing previous Games by over 200%, especially during the event. The insights gained from this experience are being passed on to future Games, contributing to their growth and visibility. Furthermore, the Games leveraged a range of technologies to enhance the overall event experience. These technologies encompassed mental health support resources, innovative use of drones for video coverage, and live streaming of competitions. Additionally, a novel system for collecting and processing results, as well as providing timely updates to athletes, was implemented—a practice that will be continued in future Games.

A Flourishing Future for the World Police & Fire Games

Mike Edwards envisions a future where the World Police & Fire Games experience sustained expansion, fostering a resurgence of volunteerism within Winnipeg, Manitoba, the host city. He also aims for a heightened recognition of the remarkable athleticism displayed by First Responders worldwide. Equally significant is the legacy of progress and enhanced operational efficiency, achieved through the Transfer of Knowledge program, benefitting both upcoming hosts and the World Police & Fire Games Federation. This initiative seeks to enhance the attractiveness for future hosts and amplify the economic benefits for host communities in the years to come.

Lastly, Mike Edwards anticipates that the triumph of this event will pave the way for more opportunities to host large-scale events in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and across Canada. As a leading host nation, each successful event further establishes Canada’s reputation as a prime destination for athletes, stakeholders, communities, and travelers seeking enduring and unforgettable experiences.

Company
2023 World Police & Fire Games

Management

Mike Edwards
COO

Description

The 2023 World Police and Fire Games office and Sport Venues are located on Treaty One lands, the original territories of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Red River Métis Nation. The 2023 World Police and Fire Games proudly acknowledges our role in the many relationships that make up our home and commit to a spirit of Reconciliation for the future.

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