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Former British Army corporal Daniel Phillips continues to promote how sport has helped him overcome adversity in his recovery from a spinal injury he received whilst on patrol in Afghanistan.

Father-of-four Dan was extremely proud to represent Team UK at the Invictus Games in Sydney 2018, competing in hand-cycling, rowing, powerlifting and archery.

He recalled: “Receiving a silver medal in the rowing was one of the proudest and most memorable moments in my life, alongside the birth of my children, marrying my wife, and my pass-out parade when I joined the Army.

"After I was injured, I became quite insular and isolated myself from the rest of the world. I struggled with depression, PTSD, lack of motivation, and anxiety. Since taking part I feel like I've grown quite a bit as a person and my self-confidence has started to rise again. I have had the pleasure of visiting multiple schools and social clubs in my local area and giving talks on the Invictus Games, overcoming adversity and determination.

"I've been quite taken back by the number of people calling me and of my story inspiring Invictus athletes at the trials in Sheffield who said I had inspired them to be there when they saw me competing in Sydney, saying that if I was able to do it with a spinal injury, then there was no reason why they would not be capable."

More determined and focused than ever, 40-year-old Dan is passionate about the recovery benefits as a result of his Invictus journey.

He added: “I'm going to continue spreading the word of how incredible the Invictus Games is. As well as talking about overcoming adversity, PTSD, how I've coped with my own mental health issues and what coping mechanisms I use. I firmly believe that the best path for my personal recovery journey lies with inspiring others to take part in sports, to live life to its fullest, and that improving mental health is the key to succeeding in that goal.”

Dan had been fighting self-isolation for many years and taking part in Sydney was an immense milestone in his achievement. However, with the world needing to be locked down, it set Dan back to his worst times. 

Gradually, with the help of Help for Heroes online programmes, training for the Invictus Games and the Invictus Education Programme, he has been able to lift himself back up again. He has also recently had a spinal cord stimulator successfully implanted to help control the immense pain he is living with, allowing Dan to be more active and increase his drive and determination to do his best in The Hague.