IN A mark of camaraderie, Riverina police officers are set to swap their traditional blue uniform for football boots and singlets in a bid to help their own.
The Golden Boot Competition provides a chance for police and emergency service workers from across the Riverina, Central Tablelands, Western NSW and Sydney to take part in a social day of mixed touch football.
Detective Senior Constable Marc Lawrence said after what was the biggest 'Boot' in 2018, early indications are 2019 will far surpass the high benchmarks set last year.
Several new teams are making the trip to Narrandera, and some old favourites are returning.
"The Public Order and Riot Squad are attending for the first time, as are the Parramatta Bin Chickens and the Liverpool Llama's," said Senior Constable Lawrence.
"Defending champions Central Metropolitan Vikings are returning and hoping to make it back to back titles."
Team manager Senior Constable Cliff Caines said he was relishing the opportunity to return to the Riverina.
"We didn't know what to expect coming to Narrandera last year other then you can't find anyone to say a bad word about it," he said.
"It's a good trip where everyone gets along, has a good time with a bit of touch footy mixed in."
The Vikings will have their work cut out with 2017 Champions Liverpool Kings bringing a fancied squad.
Local chances remain with Griffith and Wagga and the Central West Thunder from Orange also being competitive.
IN OTHER NEWS:
In addition to bringing emergency service workers together, The Golden Boot also raises money for a different charity each year.
This year, NSW Police Legacy will be the beneficiary of the fundraising effort.
Senior Constable Lawrence said the last 12 to 18 months had seen some significant events in which many police have lost their lives or been struck with some severe injuries, both physical and mental.
"It is comforting to know NSW Police Legacy, have, and will always be there, to provide support to the family, friends and colleagues of those officers," he said.
"We have been lucky enough to secure a number of attractive auction items including a signed 2018 Carlton Blues guernsey, a signed GWS Giants Football, a corporate box package at the Sydney Showground for 10 people to a Sydney Thunder match and a souvenir pack from the Boston Police Department.
"A raffle is also being run with the major prize being a $500 Accommodation voucher courtesy of Police Bank."
Tickets will be available at the ground on Wednesday with the Golden Boot beginning at 9am.