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Prince Harry meets Invictus Games hopefuls at UK trials

 

His Royal Highness Prince Harry attended the UK team trials at the University of Bath Sports Training Village today, ahead of the third Invictus Games to meet wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans trying out for a place.

 

More people than ever before have applied to take part in September's Games in Toronto, Canada, which is a multi-sport event showcasing wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans. Of the 306 trying out, 212 have never taken part in the Games before but are using sport as part of their recovery and hope to be selected to represent the 90-strong UK team that will head out to Toronto.

 

The Invictus Games, first held in London in 2014, set out to harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for our servicemen and women who have suffered mental or physical injury.

 

The UK team is selected based on the benefit the Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training. Getting involved in sport helps with self-confidence and feeling psychologically empowered. These significant health benefits can be translated outside of sport and into everyday life.

 

The UK delegation to the 2017 Invictus Games is once again being delivered by a partnership comprising the Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion.

 

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “The Invictus Games promote the importance of sport in the recovery process, and provide inspiration and opportunity to our injured Servicemen and women. I saw first-hand the strength and determination of competitors at the previous Games and I wish all those taking part in this year’s trials the best of luck as they take on this challenge.”

 

Between Thursday 6 April and Sunday 9 April, competitors are taking part in 11 sports at the trials: athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, golf, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball and wheelchair tennis.

 

The MOD is a partner in the Defence Recovery Capability, a programme which helps wounded, injured and sick Service personnel either return to duty from injury or provides a mechanism to help them back into civilian life. Click here to find out more about Defence Recovery Capability. A key activity of the Defence Recovery Capability is the Battle Back programme, an MOD initiative that delivers an adaptive sport and adventurous training programme.

 

The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 will take place from 23 – 30 September. Click here for more information: www.invictusgames2017.com

 

Earlier this year, 29-year-old Ian Taylor won the Sports Award at the Armed Forces In Wales Awards for being a role model to many. The former Aviation Technician with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) was forced to leave the army due to a serious medal condition but responded with a show of notable strength, courage and determination.

 

After training in every opportunity available, Ian reached the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida. Ian’s reward was gold and bronze medals in his three events: breaststroke, freestyle swimming and powerlifting. The award was presented by Martyn Williams MBE, a former international rugby player who represented Wales and the British Lions.

 

(Tuesday 11 April 2017)

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