Celebs get behind Invictus Games in front of the camera

Daniel Craig, Joss Stone, Tom Hardy, Joanna Lumley, Will.I.Am and Rod Stewart appear in a film that premieres online today pledging their support for the Invictus Games, the sports event for ‘wounded warriors’ launched by Prince Harry and coming to London this September, with tickets now on sale.

Stephen Fry, Bear Grylls, Bruce Forsyth and Example join them in the short movie that sees celebrities reciting ‘Invictus’ by English poet William Ernest Henley. Sports personalities Ricky Hatton, Lizzy Yarnold, Louis Smith and Iwan Thomas, along with actor and comedian Omid Djalili, also read lines from the famous 1875 poem that proclaims strength in the face of adversity. The film can be seen at www.invictusgames.org

Some of those hoping to be among more than 400 wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women competing in the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover and taking place from 10-14 September 2014, also feature. Among them is Mary Wilson, who was with the Royal Artillery when she was thrown from her horse in 2001. After three operations as a result of her injuries, she was unable to pass her Weapons Handling test and was medically discharged. In 2004 Mary was also diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

“To have stars like these give us their support feels amazing,” says Mary, who hopes to compete in swimming. “To know they and the UK public are getting behind us is a real boost, not only for those hoping to make the team for September but for others who are starting out on their road to recovery.”

Invictus is Latin for unconquered, a word that embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women and what they can achieve, post-injury. 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. Tickets cost £12.85 and are on sale at www.invictusgames.org

Daniel Craig, who begins the recital ‘Out of the night that covers me’, is urging the UK public to get behind the event: “Our Armed Forces community have made huge sacrifices in recent years,” he says. “Please give something back to those who give so much. Support this September’s Invictus Games.”

Tom Hardy delivers the poignant closing line: ‘I am the captain of my soul’. He says: “I want to encourage you (the public) to get behind our Armed Forces for the September Invictus Games. You can get your tickets online.”

The Invictus Games will also generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country and mark the start of a legacy programme to support further employment opportunities for veterans. That’s something very close to my heart

Joanna Lumley

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. The event will feature nine adaptive sports at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Lee Valley Athletics Centre, with a driving challenge organised by Jaguar Land Rover. Teams have been invited from 14 nations that have served alongside each other.

Will.i.am has a message of support for everyone taking part: “This is all about using the power of sport to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation. I want to wish all the competitors the very best of luck for this inspiring event.”

Joanna Lumley OBE explains the Invictus Games are about much more than a few days of sport: “The Invictus Games will also generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country and mark the start of a legacy programme to support further employment opportunities for veterans. That’s something very close to my heart.”

Boxing champion Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton adds: “When you hear about the journeys of recovery that these Servicemen and women have been on it’s inspirational. People talk about grit and determination but here are people who flat out refuse to be beaten by their injuries. To see how sport has played a key role in that is great. That’s why I’m backing the Invictus Games; I hope the UK public does the same and gives the competitors the support they deserve.”

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