Seven members of the UK team for the Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto headed to the Land Rover Experience Centre at Eastnor Castle, joined by Land Rover ambassadors Zara Tindall and Lewis Moody, to hone their skills on the legendary off-road tracks.
The Invictus Games is an international adaptive sporting event for wounded injured and sick servicemen and women, which was first held in London in 2014. This year’s Games kick off in Toronto on 23 September, with the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge marking the first opportunity for all 17 competing nations to win a medal.
Test your mettle
Only two of the UK team will be competing in the Driving Challenge in Toronto, so everyone was out to impress at Eastnor. Splitting into navigator and driver pairings the UK team headed out in a fleet of Land Rover Discoverys to test their communication, teamwork and planning skills on the swampy, steep and narrow off-road routes of Eastnor Castle. Earlier in the day the team had tested their speed and precision in a slalom challenge in Jaguar F-PACEs at Cotswold Airport.
Tips from the top
Lewis Moody MBE, England Rugby World Cup winner, and Zara Tindall MBE, Olympic Medallist, were offering tips and words of wisdom to the competitors throughout the day.
Zara Tindall MBE said: “The Invictus Games is a very special event, and I’ve loved meeting all the competitors here today. It was really hard to select just two people to take part in the Driving Challenge in Toronto; each and every one of those we met has the will to win and would do a fantastic job. I am really looking forward to watching these guys when they actually get to compete at the Games.”
Lewis Moody added: “What an amazing day out supporting our Invictus heroes before they head out to Toronto to represent the UK on one of the biggest stages in the world. They’re real heroes and I’ve no doubt they’ll do us proud come September 23rd.
After a close-fought day of competition Sgt Gareth Paterson and Olaf Jones were revealed as the two team members selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games.
Gareth, said: “We drove the Discovery and F-PACE hard today, throwing everything we could at them to secure our place in the Driving Challenge in Toronto. Thankfully the cars performed brilliantly and we had Zara and Lewis pushing us on throughout.”
Jaguar Land Rover is continuing its support of Invictus Games in its role as presenting partner and proud sponsor of the UK Team for 2017 following the successful inaugural games in London 2014 and subsequent games in 2016.
The UK Team is delivered by a partnership between Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion and the Ministry of Defence.