Warrior Games draws to a close

Warrior Games draws to a close

As the Department of Defense Warrior Games draws to a close, we reflect on what has been an inspirational few days for our UK team at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

UK Team Warrior Games 2016 Help For Heroes©Neil Egerton/Help for Heroes

Help for Heroes are very proud to have supported the team on their journey in which they competed in eight sports across seven days, alongside their American counterparts from the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Army.

The event has been about giving our wounded, injured and sick serving and veteran personnel the chance to take part in sport, alongside their peers, to show themselves, and the rest of the world, that they can. This is about ability, not disability. Every athlete at the Warrior Games has been empowered to compete.

The Sitting Volleyball playoffs kicked off proceedings (no medals or medal matches for the team but some great performance by the players). Archery training followed this (the team were fine tuning their skills and shooting a scored round to select the UK team members for the team events).  There was also swimming and athletics training where the team received some great coaching support from their hosts.

Sitting Volleyball Warrior Games Help For Heroes©Neil Egerton/Help for Heroes

The day culminated in the opening ceremony at which Major Brian Seggie was nominated to carry the torch, and the Golden Knights dropped in and presented the team with a lithograph as a memento.

The following day saw the competition start in earnest with the track and field events running throughout the day. The commitment from the athletes was extraordinary with each and every one of them leaving all they had on the field of play.  

Ben Wagon Warrior Games Help For Heroes©Neil Egerton/Help for Heroes

The main event the following day was the archery competition, and the UK Team swept the board in the Recurve events winning the Gold (Keith Roberson), Silver (Gavin Watson) and Bronze (Mark Martin-Davey) in the individual competiton and the same three archers also won the gold in the team Recurve.

The UK team finished a creditable fourth in the Compound event beating two of the five US teams in the process.

Archery Warrior Games Help For Heroes©Neil Egerton/Help for Heroes

Next up, the cyclists raced over a 5km hilly circuit around West Point with the number laps rating form 2-6 depending on the classification the riders.  Medals were won, but the main impact was gained purely from the simple pleasure of racing in an iconic setting, on a beautiful summer’s day, with their comrades in arms.

Cycling Warrior Games Help For Heroes©Neil Egerton/Help for Heroes

During the afternoon the UK basketball team played with passion and commitment against all of the US service branches, and the team did not look at all out of place despite the very strong opposition.  Those playing had some wonderful experiences and were well supported by the crowd, particularly the USAF Team Staff.  

Wheelchair Basketball Warrior Games Help For Heroes©Neil Egerton/Help for Heroes

The final day of competition took place at the West Point Swimming Pool.  The team were dominant in the pool winning a total of 14 medals.

Swimming Warrior Games Help For Heroes©Neil Egerton/Help for Heroes

The last formal event to take place was the closing ceremony, which was a fantastic celebration of the previous week. Marine Justin Montague received the ‘Spirit of the Games’ award, which was a special moment for both him and the team.

Closing Ceremony Warrior Games Help For Heroes©Neil Egerton/Help for Heroes

Lives have been changed, new goals have been set, and there have been smiles on faces that have not held a smile for some time.  

For the full results click HERE.

If you are wounded, injured or sick serving or veteran and have been inspired to get involved in sport, email: sportsrecovery@helpforheroes.org.uk

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