This month a group of Help for Heroes beneficiaries were invited out to Whistler, Canada to try out a series of Winter sports, as part of the charity’s extensive Sports Recovery programme.
The ‘Soldier On’ Winter Sports Camp enabled the eight individuals to engage with various winter sports at a grass roots entry level to help in their physical and mental recovery from injury or sickness.
The trip, which took place between 15th – 25th February 2015, forms one element of Help for Heroes extensive Sports Recovery programme, recognising the positive impact sport can play in an individual’s recovery.
Activities included sledge hockey, skiing, dog sledging and biathlon and all took place amongst the immense beauty of Whistler mountain. Volunteer instructors were on hand throughout the activities to help participants learn and progress.
Louise Watson, National Sports Recovery Manager at Help for Heroes, said: “For many, the activities at Whistler weren’t necessarily the real challenge. Often the personal challenges associated with the event, such as social interaction or being out in public, were much larger. The safe environment that this camp provided, where there was a common bond and understanding, is so valuable, as it gives individuals the confidence and reassurance to help progress in their recovery. One ex-Serviceman, suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), said that the week gave him the best day he has had since being injured three years ago. Help for Heroes sees each day as another small step forward.”
The Soldier On programme was founded in 2007 as a joint initiative between the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), who help organise this winter programme in Whistler.
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and in the past year alone have offered 300 events across 50 different sports enabling over 2,100 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports from grassroots through to performance level.
For more information about how Help for Heroes can support you if you’re wounded, injured or sick, visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk