The TopCop Challenge - The ultimate challenge

Words: Courtesy of Shift Sport and Marketing | Photos: RSS Security

The South African security industry is booming; a short drive through any residential area or business district will paint a picture of security paraphernalia on every street post or building. Often, one small suburb can have up to six different security providers.

The TopCop Challenge

The South African security industry is booming; a short drive through any residential area or business district will paint a picture of security paraphernalia on every street post or building. Often, one small suburb can have up to six different security providers.


While crime statistics are announced week in and week out through the press, little praise goes to the hard-working individuals who fight the good fight and keep our suburbs and business districts safe.


On 25 and 26 April 2013, at Kyalami Race Track and Leeukop Prison, the inaugural Top Cop Challenge will set out to put the skills of South Africa’s top security providers to the test using real-world simulations over two gruelling days of competition. Furthermore, the competition aims to spotlight the brave men and woman who put themselves on the line every day for us.


This new, annual concept is proudly brought to you by the crew at Shift Sport and Marketing, which specialises in out-of-the-ordinary themed events such as this. Event Director, Gavin Kearns, says that he was inspired to do what he can to contribute to the safety of the South African public and this was the best way he knew. As surreal as it sounds, this concept is based on an idea from the movie Battleship, only this has been scaled down and tailored for the industry.


The right men for the job

Security teams consisting of five members will take to the field in specially-designed simulations that are set at the highest standard. The simulations emulate day-to-day activities encountered by the security industry and will test the following:
• Physical capabilities of the team
• Camaraderie between team members
• Communication skills under pressure
• Driving skills
• First aid capabilities
• General weapons readiness


A unique opportunity

This is South Africa’s only tournament and gathering of forces in practice, and is dedicated to growing this sector. Participants are given the opportunity to learn, demonstrate and innovate in a field of their peers. The security industry has welcomed this idea having seen the success of similar events abroad, such as the SWAT roundup in Orlando Florida.


The challenge will provide a platform where new methods and innovations can be explored, key technologies can be evaluated and operators can gain valuable insights into implementing successful field strategies. The Top Cop Challenge seeks to develop, motivate and inspire the South African security industry by bringing together security service providers from across the country to compete.


Putting them to the test

Participant’s skills are tested both on and off the field over the two days. Bodies and minds will be put to the test in:


Ranger Challenge

Working in the security industry is physically demanding and participants will need to be tough enough to endure the physical challenges that they may encounter in the service on a daily basis. An 8 km obstacle course is designed to push the participants to the limit and add to the enormity of the challenge. Teams will need to wear full tactical gear.


Hot Pursuit

Getting from point A to point B in an emergency is an essential element for any reaction unit. This leg is a double header as it contains to two stages; a debussing leg and the tactical driving leg.


Within the debussing leg, teams will need to pursue a vehicle on the track and once caught, the occupants of the vehicle will need to be secured. The organisers will enforce the industry’s most stringent standards to this critical procedure.


The tactical driving leg takes place on a skit pan and dry pan, and will test how quickly drivers can adjust to change, take direction and cope with the stresses of the road.


Mastermind Challenge

The question here is: How do you cope mentally with the challenges that you face? This plays to the power of reasoning and deduction. The simulation will test memories and stress levels of units.


Top Doc Challenge

When a life hangs in the balance, more often than not the first person on the scene is from the security industry. This requires them to go above and beyond their daily tasks. This simulation is designed to see how they cope in a situation and whether or not they have what it takes to bring somebody back from the edge.


Top Shot Challenge

In the heat of the moment a lot can go wrong! This simulation is structured to test participants skills with a firearm while actively in the field because, sometimes, the difference between a hit and miss is the difference between life and death.


Who is this for?

The organiser’s top priority in this competition is the safety of all participants and officials. With this in mind, there are very strict qualifying criteria placed on this event. However, it is open to teams from:
• Armed response
• Event security
• Metro police departments
• Reservists
• Medics / paramedics
• Game wardens and marshals


Due to the extreme and dangerous nature of this event, we do not allow for public viewing. But thanks to an innovative partnership with Amecor, the entire event will be recorded and footage will be available for live streaming along with highlights across various social media platforms.


Giving back & Looking forward

The public can rest easy knowing that while we sleep at night, there are teams out there with our best interest at heart, with the means, skills and technologies to keep us safe. Such an event would not be possible without the industry know how, skills and the technology of our partners; Amecor, FSK, Secequip group, PDS and Nissan.


This is only the beginning and already the organisers are starting to chew through ideas to make this event bigger and better for 2014. Perhaps in the near future, you may even see this as a TV show …



To enter a team, go to Only teams that fit the relevant safety criteria will be accepted to compete for the honour of the Top Cop Challenge Champions. The event is capped to 25 teams. If you would like more information, please contact Gavin Kearns via email: .


Issue 24 Apr'13