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Gwynne Walker

Categories: Invictus Games 2020 Athletes

Gwynne Walker, 35, was medically discharged from the army in November 2020 and lives with a progressive injury -since his latest operation he has gone from being active to non-active.

Initially Gwynne was encouraged to discover that a physical injury need not be the end of competitive sports for him and as part of his sports recovery he was keen to apply and start his Invictus journey. However, the thought of putting himself forward for the Invictus programme triggered severe anxiety, fear and depression and Gwynne retreated to the safety of isolation and shut himself away from the world.

“If it wasn’t for [fellow Invictus Team UK competitor] Charlie Dye, who marched me to the desk at Tedworth House and made me put in my application to become a part of the Invictus family I don’t know where I would be today. Invictus has changed my life, I can say that without a shadow of a doubt it gives me a reason to get up in the mornings and go and train and try to improve in my sports, I enjoy meeting new people again and listening to their stories and offering them advice or receiving advice from them.

“My recovery journey was challenging, I had a lot of ups and downs and I struggled with transition into civilian life at first, but then I was employed by the Civil Service at Infantry Battle School Brecon Quarter Master Technical department. This aided my transition massively as I still work in a military environment and feel part of team that has the working mentality that I’m used too. I have also Joined Cardiff Met Archers Wheelchair Basketball Club. This was something I had wanted to do for quite a while but with the challenges that covid brought there wasn’t an opportunity. Once Covid had settled and clubs opened back up, I put off joining with various excuses for fear and anxiety of not being accepted and new surroundings but with a little push in the right direction from one of the Invictus WCBB coaches Rosie, I attended my first training session and I have never looked back since. Just being back in the chair with like-minded people where there is no judgment or discrimination was amazing and has helped to fill void that Invictus had left during the pandemic.

The decision for me to be discharged from the military brought a lot of challenges but with hard work and determination I did not quit, and I am now a valued member of my team and I am feeling more positive about the future of my physical and mental health. Being selected for the Invictus Games in the Hague is one of the proudest moments in my life and has relit a fire in my drive and focus that I thought I had lost."