A Police Community Support Officer from Condover has brought glory to Shropshire after winning a gold medal in the World Police & Fire Games in Rotterdam.
The World Police & Fire Games is a biennial athletic event, and in 2022 over 10,000 competitors from 70 countries competed in 63 sports, dwarfing the recent Commonwealth Games. Participation is restricted to competitors who are full-time law enforcement or fire officers.
David Baron, a Police Community Support officer based at Church Stretton Station, competed in the Target Archery competition, beating close rivals from Finland and Germany to take the top spot on the podium. David took up archery as a hobby 23 years ago but never imagined he would find himself on the world stage as a competitor.
Even getting to and from the games was a challenge: “An archery bow is classed as an offensive weapon so I wasn’t able to take it on the Eurostar as luggage” explained David. “I sent it by courier and I arrived in Rotterdam with everything crossed that it would be waiting there for me. Fortunately, it was!”
And arriving back in the UK David faced a train strike and had to get back to Condover from Birmingham by taxi.
“But it was all worth it,” says David. “Being part of the Opening Ceremony was amazing, and moving, and the atmosphere at the games was brilliant. I became friends with an Officer from the Met who was a swimmer. Neither of us had family with us so I supported him at his events, and he supported me.”
“Winning a gold medal was a moment I will never forget.”