The British Armed Forces team for the
Invictus Games has been announced and the 130 participants, with 7 reserves, are now focussed and in training for the Games that begin on 10 September. Emma and I were privileged to meet the successful team members, excited just after the announcement was made, and to tell them how proud we are of them all. Some we know well, others we had not met before. All are determined to do their best and all only too aware that they are the ‘lucky ones’. Many more would have loved to take part but are not able to, perhaps some will take part in future games; others will achieve personal bests elsewhere.
H4H is proud to have been asked to help select, train and deliver the team. 58 are still serving, 79 are veterans, the youngest is 21, the oldest is 61 and together they will take part in 9 sports over 4 days of competition against 13 different allied nations. This will be very special and we have HRH Prince Harry and his team to thank for this opportunity. He came to visit the H4H supported team taking part in the US based Warrior Games and had the vision to see this as international event for all ‘wounded warriors'. He had the dream of seeing the Invictus Games in the Olympic stadium and will make it a reality. The BAF team 'get that' and are grateful for this extraordinary chance.
H4H has long understood the vital role that sport plays in Recovery. In 2008 we were the Founder Patrons of Battle Back, Colonel Fred Hargreaves’ concept, and were delighted when the Battle Back’s first boss, the hugely experienced Martin Colclough OBE, joined H4H to run our extensive
Sports Recovery programme. He and his wonderfully dedicated team have worked round the clock to deliver the BAF team and ensure its success. Thank you all.
Most of the participants are not full time athletes, even the team captain is juggling his training with his university work; they are just ordinary men and women embracing a challenge and doing their best. In doing so they will inspire others to follow. For some, the extraordinary few, a future in sport might be a wonderful prospect. For others, this will be a vital waypoint to a life fulfilled in other ways. The key though, is that they have stood up and put themselves forward, they are seizing the day and leading the way; inspiring others to follow. They tell me that they are the lucky ones; I feel humbled to hear that. I hope that the real lucky ones, we who have all our limbs and remain whole, will stand up, seize the day and support this wonderful demonstration of determination.
Please support the Invictus Games, stand up and be counted; our team has.