Road To The Games

02
Feb

ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Sue McCarron, 52, Lebanon Police Department

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b2ap3_thumbnail_athlete-sue-mccarron-1.jpgWatch out world, Sue McCarron is here! At 52, she refuses to let any roadblocks stand in her way!

After receiving her Bachelors in Criminology from FSU, she was hired as the first female patrolman in the history of the Lebanon Police Department in New Hampshire (1985). After graduating 3rd in the academy and placing 2nd in firearms, she was recruited by the United States Secret Service and worked as a polygraph examiner, and later transferred to the Vice Presidential Protective Division. The remainder of her career included time with the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit at Fort Devens, Massachusetts as well as working with the Department of Defense in two different capacities.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, Sue found a love for all things motorcycles! She bought her Harley Davidson Road King and began racing dirt bikes in the mid 90s! Racing primarily in the Women’s Class in Harescrambles (timed races through the woods with obstacles including rock gardens, mud, logs, steep hill, streams, etc.), she placed 2nd overall for the championship in 2000.

The season ended that November, and soon after, Sue had her first child. She didn’t race or ride again until it was announced that the 2005 WPFG would be held in Quebec! She had tried to make the 1997 games in Calgary and again the 2001 games in Indianapolis, but never quite seemed to get there. When the 2005 games were announced, Sue knew she had to make it happen and although she had never raced motocross, registered as a competitor. 

In preparation for Quebec, Sue went to JUST one motocross track for practice and spent only 20 minutes practicing. She says “Essentially….I had no training with motocross and just relied on my previous race experience. I was happy to just fit into my riding gear…as I had two children by that time.” Sue dominated the field and not only was the sole female competitor, she won the Bronze Medal in the Master (over 125CC/25CC) Category

b2ap3_thumbnail_athlete-sue-mccarron-2.jpgIn November 2010, Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing two surgeries and nearly three months of radiation treatment, Sue refused to let cancer win. She forced herself to return to playing in a women’s hockey league, and ran the Warrior Dash and Spartan Race in 2011, just months after finishing treatment. “Cancer is just another thing in life that you deal with, but it doesn’t have to devastate you.”

Soon after, Sue had her 50th birthday and celebrated, as you would if you were Sue – by running the 10 mile Tough Mudder Race up and back down Mt. Snow in Vermont! Since then, she has completed her second Warrior Dash and her third Spartan Race found her placing 22 out of 186 women in her age group.

Sue will be competing in both Motocross and Cross Country this summer and says she loves the Games, most especially the opportunity to meet so many public safety athletes from other countries.  She fondly remembers being in the parking lot in Quebec and meeting the Vanek family from the Czech Republic, who – even with limited English – helped repair the brakes on her motorcycle before the race.

Santa Claus recently brought him a new dirtbike and after having a friend create a small track on her property, he rides every chance he can get.

When asked to define her definition of success, Sue said “It used to be bringing home the trophy. Now, the definition of “success” in racing has shifted.” As she has introduced her son to the sport, she realizes the lessons are not just about the win. “It’s important to “show up” and do your best. Regardless of how you place, you’re already a success for just being there and competing.  It takes hard work and commitment. Some good things come simply as a result of hard work and being consistent.  If my son can learn this in sports, I believe he can apply the same work ethic to every aspect of his life.”

Sue's most excited to: participate in the Opening Ceremonies (she missed that in Quebec, 2005), catch up with old friends from the Secret Service and make new friends as well!

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27
Jan

Recapping the Games presence at the National Sheriffs' Association Winter Meetings

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Surrounded by tech solutions, online colleges, associations and healthcare companies, the 2015 World Police & Fire Games booth stood out at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Meetings. A significantly smaller event then the annual conference hosted over the summer, the NSA Winter Meetings attract Sheriffs from all over the United States and the world.  Keynote speakers included Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security and James B. Comey, Director of the FBI.  For the Games team it was an excellent opportunity to get in front of the decision makers at Sheriffs’ offices to promote the Games and create new advocates!

'That's so freaking cool' said Greg Hamilton, Sheriff of the Travis County, Texas, after watching the ‘Courage on Display' information video about the 2015 Games (www.fairfax2015.com/courage). That reaction was typical throughout the conference from those who knew about the Games and those who were introduced for the first time. 

'Events like this one give us an opportunity to engage with members of sheriffs’ departments, continue to promote the Games and encourage others to get involved not only because of the great camaraderie the Games provide but also to focus on the original mission of the California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) - to promote physical fitness within the public safety profession' said Tony Shobe, Director, Sports for Fairfax 2015 and a 2nd Lt. with the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office. 

 Actor Erik Estrada was also walking the Exhibit Hall rows, promoting his non-profit that focuses on providing bulletproof vests to agencies that cannot afford them. He even took the time to pose for pictures with exhibitors including, Fairfax County Firefighter and Athlete Recruiter for Fairfax 2015, Charlie Ray.

For more information on the National Sheriff Association and their events and program please visit; www.sheriffs.org 

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14
Jan

ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Kenton Givens - Submission Grappling

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b2ap3_thumbnail_KentonGivensFamily.jpgHe doesn’t share this information with most, but Kenton Givens is a disabled combat veteran who fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 as a Marine. His wife is US Army and Kenton himself also has a long career in law enforcement. They have four daughters and one son between the ages of 5 and 18 and we are guessing there is never a dull day in their home!

Kenton will be participating in the World Police and Fire Games for the first time at the Fairfax 2015 games, as a competitor in submission grappling. He holds a BJJ Blue Belt at the Jiu Jitsu Institute in Yorktown, Virginia and holds a Black Belt in Judo with the Virginia Academy of Judo. His past experience with competition has only been on the local level in Gi, so the upcoming No Gi level will be a big step for him, but one is mentally and physically ready for. Gi participants are clothed in a kimono, or the customary white jacket/pants while No Gi participants typically only wear board shorts. Another major difference between Gi and No Gi is the point structure as well as certain moves that are allowed and varying takedown strategies.

Kenton has been a police officer since 2001 and is currently assigned as the Department K9 trainer, as well as holding the title of Senior Master b2ap3_thumbnail_KentonGivensK9.jpgHandler. He has worked uniform patrol as a County Officer and in the local jail as a Deputy Sheriff as well. When asked what piece of advice he would give someone aspiring to have a career in law enforcement, Kenton answered:

“Never stop training, it doesn't matter what department you work for, never wait on your department to train you. This is a professional career, and to be the best at it -- at the moment of truth -- you have to train in all aspects of combat, firearms, verbal judo, defensive tactics, the laws, etc. Train and take care of one another so everyone can make it home.”

Kenton puts family first, training second and says that he has been painfully aware of how quickly time flies, now that he his oldest daughter is going to college. He says to enjoy life and never take it for granted. He has learned that children truly allow you to live, laugh, love and cry and he appreciates watching them grow and learn.

He cites his wife as being his biggest source of encouragement and motivation, as she consistently pushes him forward in his dreams and aspirations. He draws inspiration from his Katrina Y. Soriano, his best friend who he lost to cancer several years ago. After attending academy together, they were zone partners during their career and he now wears a bracelet in her honor, reminding him to always work harder.

Kenton’s MUST SEE Virginia recommendations: National Harbor of Maryland, a drive down to Virginia Beach, as well as the historic sites in Virginia.

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01
Dec

#GivingTuesday - Fairfax 2015 joins Fairfax County “12 Ways of Giving “

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Starting on #GivingTuesday  (Tuesday, December 2), the Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships will launch their annual “12 Ways of Giving” Program to promote giving to local nonprofits leading up to the Holiday season.

Fairfax 2015 is committed to providing the best athlete experience to each of the 12,000 plus public safety officials during next summer’s World Police & Fire Games. You can help ensure these humble heroes have the experience of a lifetime while visiting Fairfax County and the National Capital Region by donating through the “12 Ways of Giving” program.

To donate please visit: http://www.fairfaxcountypartnerships.org/enews/Ways_to_give_1214.html.

 

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01
Dec

Volunteer Recruitment Well Underway for Next Summer's World Police & Fire Games

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The 2015 World Police & Fire Games will feature 12,000 public safety athletes from 70 countries taking part in 61 sports in 53 area venues.  And it will take approximately 4,000 VOLUNTEERS backing them up to make it all happen.  The very good news is that over 1,200 VOLUNTEERS have already registered with many more on the way.  You can still be a part of this amazing event and help welcome the world to Fairfax County and the National Capital Region.

VOLUNTEER opportunities exist in multiple areas of interest including, Games Ambassadors, Special Events, Venues and Competition, PR and Marketing, Operations and more.  During the Games, the volunteers will be looked upon to provide dozens of roles and functions...everything from welcoming athletes, family and guests, assisting our sports coordinators at each competition venue, to helping behind the scenes with technology, medical, protocol, communications and marketing. We are also looking for sport specific volunteers with tasks that range from the posting and dissemination of competition results to line judges and officials.

"Our volunteers are the heart and soul of this event, both during the Games next summer and over the course of the next several months as we plan for these competitions," said Kim Palmese, Director, Workforce for Fairfax 2015. The recruitment phase kicked off earlier this fall, as the Fairfax 2015 staff relied heavily on the high number of volunteers needed to help man the World Police & Fire Games information booth, assisting with the junior ultimate fire fighter competition and several other tasks at events held throughout Fairfax County and the region.

"Words cannot express the gratitude that we have for our public safety officials, but actions can," Palmese said. "It is because of this that we encourage all area residents to volunteer and support the public safety officials who have dedicated their lives to serving us and our community. “Join us in support of our everyday Heroes and welcome the world to Fairfax County and the National Capital Region!”

COMPETE
VOLUNTEER
CHEER ON THE WORLD

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