Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, has this morning unveiled the team selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Orlando 2016.
The 110-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans came together for the first time since selection on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Prince Harry met the team ahead of the forthcoming Games, and posed for the first official team photograph.
More than 180 WIS military personnel and veterans trialed 10 sports for one of the 110 places available on the UK team. The rigorous selection process for the UK team was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.
The 2016 UK Team Captain was also named this morning as former Army Captain David Wiseman, who takes over the mantel from 2014 Captain, Dave Henson.
David was commanding a small British Infantry team embedded within the Afghan National Army in Nad-e Ali district, Helmand province in 2009. David was shot in the chest whilst conducting a fighting patrol that came into contact with the Taliban. The round entered his shoulder and travelled the length of his torso, ricocheting on his ribs before coming to rest in his right lung; where it resides to this day. David was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012, a condition which he says is now manageable thanks to the fantastic treatment he received alongside his physical rehabilitation.
On being chosen as UK Team Captain, David said: “I have a huge emotional attachment to the Invictus Games and could not be prouder to have been selected to Captain the UK Team at Orlando 2016. The reason for my pride? I think the Invictus Games is a shining example of what this community can achieve, a group of individuals from around the world coming together in order to show everyone that beyond injury, they can achieve the extraordinary.”
United Kingdom Delegation
The event also marked the official handover of the Invictus Games flag from Prince Harry to US Team Captain, Will Reynolds, signifying the handover from London, host city of the 2014 Invictus Games, to Orlando. The flag will be transported to the US in a specially commissioned Jaguar F-PACE, the Official Flag Vehicle for the Invictus Games Orlando 2016.
The team will continue to train in various locations across the country as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team.
Over 60% of this year’s team are new to the Invictus Games and were spurred on to apply to take part off the back of the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014 and the day-to-day sports recovery activity that takes place.
The team will compete in ten sports: Athletics; Archery; Wheelchair Basketball; Road Cycling; Powerlifting; Indoor Rowing; Wheelchair Rugby; Swimming, Sitting Volleyball, and a new sport for 2016, Wheelchair Tennis.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Everyone selected for the UK team can be proud of what they have achieved as they prepare for success in Orlando. The MOD is once again backing this superb event and I look forward to being there to see our personnel and veterans demonstrate their fighting spirit."
The Royal British Legion will be supporting the friends and family of the UK team as part of its work to recognise the vital and valuable contribution that family and friends make to the recovery of wounded, injured or sick service personnel and veterans.
The Legion’s Director General, Chris Simpkins said: “We are proud to support the UK delegation to the games and we will be encouraging everyone back home to get behind them. The Legion is co-ordinating travel, accommodation and tickets for family and friends attending the games in Florida to ensure that every participant can enjoy the support of their loved ones. We will provide support and pastoral care here in the UK while participants are preparing for the Games, and in Orlando during the event itself.”
Jaguar Land Rover is proud to support the UK team and are presenting partners of the Invictus Games Orlando 2016, Jeremy Hicks, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover added: “There is a close alignment between Jaguar Land Rover’s values and the vision of the Invictus Games, that inspiring performances and passionate, unstoppable persistence enriches people’s lives.
“We’re incredibly proud to continue our role as presenting partner of the 2016 Invictus Games and sponsor the UK Team, and we’re delighted that Jaguar Land Rover employee James McGill will be representing us on the field in Orlando. We wish them all well on this exciting journey.”
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Regular donations provide a sustained focus on rebuilding the lives of our wounded Servicemen and women.