The British Armed Forces Team has today been announced, which has been trained and supported by Help for Heroes and the Ministry of Defence. The team is made up of veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces and it is the biggest British military sports team ever assembled from wounded, injured or sick men and women. The final team that will represent Great Britain has been selected on criteria such as their commitment to training, performance, progression in their sport and feedback from the Help for Heroes Sports Recovery coaches.
After a three month training and trial period, where competitors undertook events such as archery, athletics, wheelchair basketball and rugby, cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, swimming and sitting volleyball the efforts of the 130 selected over 67 days and 497 coaching hours have paid off.
The team will come from all over the UK, from Kinloss to Torpoint, representing their country in the very first Invictus Games. There will also be a unique competitive driving challenge organised by Jaguar Land Rover.
Having been put through their paces during nationwide trials, the selected competitors will now begin ramping up their training and focusing on the Games that begin on September 10.
The Invictus Games, are a unique chance for the public to celebrate this ‘Invictus Spirit’ through sporting achievement, at venues made famous by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The event, which will be kicked off with an Opening Ceremony and rounded off with a Closing Concert headlined by the Foo Fighters, runs from 10-14 September. Tickets to the events cost £12.85 and are on sale at www.invictusgames.org
The Invictus Games are being organised with the support and backing of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence. They will feature more than 400 wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, serving and veterans, competing in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, thanks to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. Teams, which have been invited from 14 nations that have served alongside each other, will compete in 9 adaptive sports.
Dave Henson, who today was announced as the British Armed Forces team captain and lost his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan said:
“When I was injured I thought that was it, my life was over. The confidence boost that sport gave me was huge and to be selected as part of the British team for the Invictus Games is a huge honour. I really hope both the British public really get behind the Games and come and support us in person. It’s going to be a truly inspirational event.”
Martin Colclough, British Team Manager for the Games and Head of Sports Recovery at Help for Heroes said:
“Help for Heroes are delighted to have played a part in the training and development of the British Armed Forces as part of our Sports Recovery programme. Sport plays such an important part in the recovery of our ill and injured and it’s fantastic we’ve been able to provide them with this opportunity. We’ve got a great team that is going to be a force to be reckoned with during the Invictus Games!”
Sir Keith Mills, Chairman of the Invictus Games added:
"My congratulations go to the remarkable men and women who have made the British Armed Forces Team for the Invictus Games. They’ve done so through the same grit and determination that they’ve shown throughout their inspirational journeys of recovery. Next month the public has a unique chance to celebrate their ‘invictus spirit’ in the sporting arena and I don’t have any doubt that our team will enjoy fantastic home support.”
Help for Heroes would like to wish everyone taking part in the Invictus Games the very best of luck, we can't wait to see the amazing competions unfold... bring it on!