Volunteers from all over Southern California are taking part in the World Police and Fire Games this week to show their support for competitors.
For the Toughest Competitor Alive event at College of the Canyons, there were about 80 volunteers over the course of three days who served as timers, score keepers and spotters.
This event results in an eight-hour long day for participants, who compete in a 5k, 100 meter dash, 100 meter swim, 20 foot rope climb, shotput, bench press, pull ups and obstacle course.
Santa Clarita local Natalie Plascencia with the Los Angeles Police Department volunteered her time at the individual Toughest Competitor Alive event and will serve later in the week as the volunteer CrossFit coordinator.
As a volunteer, she said she is happy to help where she is needed.
“It’s nice to know different people from different agencies,” Natalie Plascencia said. “I just love the whole athletic program.”
At other points throughout the week, Plascencia is competing in the group Toughest Competitor Alive and dodgeball.
Through her involvement in the event in past years, Plascencia has made connections with people from across California and the world, she said.
College of the Canyons’ men’s basketball team took part in the volunteer opportunity as well.
During the bench press portion of the Toughest Competitor Alive competition, the basketball team spotted the participants while they lifted.
“It’s what we do for each other in the weight room,” Issak Traore said.
Traore and his teammates said they were excited to watch the competitors and hoped to climb the rope themselves after the contest was over.
Volunteer Coordinator Roberta Miklos, a resident of Palmdale, has been to World Police and Fire Games competitions for 20 years.
“I have met so many people who are so nice,” Roberta Miklos said. “I have really enjoyed doing it for so long.”
The volunteer coordinator has traveled to Australia, Ireland, Spain, Canada and different parts of the United States to attend The Games with her husband David Miklos, who serves as the Toughest Competitor Alive coordinator and sits on the board of directors.
David Miklos, a retired sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, used to take part in the Toughest Competitor Alive event and the bench press.
“It is kind of magical,” David Miklos said about The Games. “I enjoy the relationship building with people.”
Palmdale resident and retired Canadian police officer Fred Selles, who was there with his wife Bernie Selles, said volunteering at the event was like being surrounded by family.
“You’re a part of something bigger than yourself,” Fred Selles said. “I’m giving back to the people who deserve it most.”
Javier Clift, an Upland resident training at the Rio Hondo College Police Academy, said volunteering for the event has allowed him to watch law enforcement officials let their guard down in a fun setting.
“It’s a networking opportunity and allows me to meet law enforcement from all over the world,” Javier Clift said.
To purchase photos from The World Police and Fire Games, visit The Signal’s SmugMug.