130 British Heroes go for gold at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games

The 130 strong British Armed Forces team for the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, has been announced today.

  • Announced today: biggest British military sports team ever assembled from wounded, injured or sick Servicemen and women
  • Help for Heroes are supporting the MOD in training and selecting the team as part of their wider Sports Recovery programme
  • British Armed Forces team made up of 69 percent Army, 23 percent Naval Service and 8 percent Royal Air Force representatives
  • 58 percent are veterans, and 42 percent are still serving members of the Armed Forces
  • 67 days of training and 497 coaching hours successfully completed in build up to team selection

The team, which has been trained and supported by Help for Heroes and the Ministry of Defence, 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 inaugural 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, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, 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 cost £12.85 and are on sale atwww.invictusgames.org<http://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 veteran, 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 lost his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan and was today announced as the British Armed Forces team captain, 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 the British public both really get behind the Games and come and support us in person. It’s going to be a truly inspirational event.”

Prince Harry today said, “I’m obviously delighted to be here to introduce the British team for the Invictus Games. To all of you behind me, I’d like to congratulate you on making the team. These men and women have achieved so much already, but being selected for the team, they have reached another significant milestone in a life beyond injury. However, the Games are not just about those taking part, but all those in their wider family.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said, “Those who will be competing in the Invictus Games have already overcome enormous challenges and shown huge courage in the face of the life-changing injuries they received whilst bravely serving their country. They demonstrate the powerful role that sport and physical activity can play in recovery, with many being introduced to this through the Battle Back programme. The UK team represents the Best of British spirit and I urge people to join me in cheering them on in a few weeks’ time.”

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 are 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.”

Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover said, “Jaguar Land Rover is immensely proud to be enabling these Invictus Games and supporting the British Armed Forces team. We have been inspired by the passion with which Prince Harry has championed this visionary idea, to celebrate the commitment and achievements of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel. In addition, we’re exploring with the Royal Foundation and the Ministry of Defence innovative ways of enhancing their employment prospects and those of other Service personnel when moving into civilian life, to create a lasting legacy from the Games.”

I’m obviously delighted to be here to introduce the British team for the Invictus Games. To all of you behind me, I’d like to congratulate you on making the team. These men and women have achieved so much already, but being selected for the team, they have reached another significant milestone in a life beyond injury. However, the Games are not just about those taking part, but all those in their wider family

Prince Harry

For more information about Help for Heroes, please contact Jess Baker at Help for Heroes on jess.baker@helpforheroes.org.uk<mailto:jess.baker@helpforheroes.org.uk> / 07702 737242

For more information about the Invictus Games, please contact Julie Burley at Invictus Games Press Office on julie.burley@invictusgames.org<mailto:julie.burley@invictusgames.org> / 0203 757 9518.

Notes to Editors:

For download of all content captured from the British Armed Forces team announcement, including event B-Roll, interviews and edited web packages, please visit the Digital News Agency via this link:http://www.digitalnewsagency.com/stories/8575

All content is free to download and use without restrictions.

For more information and support please contact Daniel Sayles or Moira Kan:

Daniel Sayles

0044 (0) 7415 646 146

daniel.sayles@tvcgroup.com<mailto:daniel.sayles@tvcgroup.com>

Moira Kan

0044 (0) 7415 646 555

moira.kan@tvcgroup.com<mailto:moira.kan@tvcgroup.com>

British Armed Forces team stats

· Serving personnel (42%), veterans (58%)

· Male (87%), female (13%)

· Royal Navy (23%), Army (69%), RAF (8%)

About Help for Heroes

For more information about Help for Heroes, please visitwww.helpforheroes.org.uk

Help for Heroes offers comprehensive support to those who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses whilst serving our country. This is provided through grants to individuals, other Service charities and capital build projects. The money raised by the hugely generous public has been used to support out wounded, but there is still so much more to do. Soldiers, sailors and airmen who are injured today will still need our support tomorrow and in the days that follow, for the rest of their lives. They are still battling and we won’t let them battle alone.

About the Invictus Games

Launched by Prince Harry earlier this year, the Invictus Games will use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country.

The sports at the Invictus Games are: Archery, Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball, Road Cycling, Powerlifting, Indoor Rowing, Wheelchair Rugby, Swimming, Sitting Volleyball and a Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will host events in the London Aquatics Centre, Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark & Here East, with Athletics at 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 have been invited from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Georgia, Iraq, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, UK & USA.

Jaguar Land Rover is the Presenting Partner of the Invictus Games. BT, Fisher House, Ottobock, PwC and YESSS are Official Supporters.

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.

About Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest premium automotive manufacturing business, built around two iconic British car brands. The company employs 30,000 people globally. All its vehicles are engineered and designed in Britain. While it has ambitious plans for global growth, the heart of the business remains in the UK, with billions of pounds invested in state-of-the-art production, research and development facilities. In 2013, Jaguar Land Rover sold 425,006 vehicles – up 19% from the previous year – in more than 170 countries.

About Battle Back

Many Wounded, Injured and Sick Serving and Veteran Military Personnel have been introduced to sport through the Ministry of Defence-owned and led Battle Back programme. The Battle Back programme is delivered, funded and organised in partnership with Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion and other Service charities.

Physical activity is a key component in the Recovery process and so the Battle Back programme is designed to promote confidence and independence in direct support of an Individual’s Recovery Plan.

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