Former Sergeant in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Victoria Wales was one of the first women to achieve selection and pass all Infantry Physical Testing. An Instructor at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and an ex-National Athlete, Victoria’s entire world changed when she broke her back over ten years ago:” I lost everything, my career (both Military and Sporting) and I also lost myself; my identity. I have struggled with this aspect ever since. I have shied away from the spotlight, sport and physical fitness and didn’t think I would ever compete again.”
Now on her sports recovery Invictus journey, the 42-year-old from Tyne and Wear is excited to be part of a team again. Since taking part in the Invictus UK Trials Victoria’s competitor spirit has been re-awakened; “Being a part of the Invictus UK Trials re-ignited that fire in my soul and has given me a new chance of competing and being a part of something amazing. I have tried sports I have never done before and realised I am not that bad, training for the trials and selection has pushed me through my pain barrier, I have given up before as there was nothing to push through this pain for, and I am joining gyms & clubs with a newfound belief that I CAN DO THIS!”
Those closest to Victoria have also noticed the change: “My family has seen flickers of the old me, my partner is excited to see this side of me she has never seen before…who is this person?!”
“I have always been committed to my recovery, I have had rehab and counselling for years and have thrown myself into my career as an Operations Officer for The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE).
Being a part of this Invictus journey has brought back the realisation that that part of me is still there and through a continued focus I can come back, I can maybe tell them the story of how I achieved TEAM INVICTUS.”
“I feel like I am at the beginning of an adventure back into self-discovery and I do not want this to end now. I want to inspire everyone around me to never give up.”