The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 Helen Rollason Award will tonight (Sunday 14 December) be awarded to the 413 incredible competitors across the world, who competed in this year's Invictus Games, including those members of the British Armed Forces Team who were trained, selected and supported by Help for Heroes. The award will be presented by His Royal Highness Prince Harry.
Prince Harry will be introducing over 30 Invictus Games competitors, from across the world, on to the stage at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow during the live show on BBC One and BBC One HD, which starts at 8pm.
Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games and brought the event to an international audience following his visit to the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013. The event in London earlier this year brought together for the first time over 400 servicemen and women – both serving and veteran – from 13 nations.
Receiving the Helen Rollason award on behalf of the athletes, which is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the face of adversity, will be captain of the British Armed Forces Team, Dave Henson.
Dave Henson said: “To be recognised formally with the Helen Rollason award is the icing on the cake of our Invictus adventure. The whole experience has been overwhelming and the support we've received over the course of the Games has been utterly humbling. Every single competitor will be so proud to be recognised for their strength and courage in the face of extreme adversity.”
Help for Heroes trained and supported the team as part of their extensive Sports Recovery Programme. The team was the biggest British military sports team ever assembled from wounded, injured or sick servicemen and women and would have been the 10th largest nation, out of a total of 164 competing nations, at the 2012 summer Paralympic Games in London.
The Helen Rollason award is presented at Sports Personality of the Year in memory of the BBC presenter who died 15 years ago in 1999 at the age of 43 after suffering from cancer.
Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, said: “It’s a real honour to have so many of the Invictus Games competitors from around the world joining us in Glasgow for BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Their achievements this year have been inspirational and they all deserve to be recognised with the Helen Rollason award.”
Previous winners include racehorse trainer Jenny Pitman, Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams (posthumous), Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, fundraiser Jane Tomlinson, sailor Ellen MacArthur, Formula One’s Frank Williams, and snooker player Paul Hunter (posthumous).
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery for six years, and in the past year alone have put on 300 events across 50 different sports enabling over 1,800 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports from grassroots through to performance level.
To find out more about Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Programme, follow @H4H_SR on Twitter.