The Duke of Sussex launches one year to go until the Invictus Games The Hague 2020
On Thursday May 9, HRH the Duke of Sussex and Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation visited The Hague to mark the countdown to the start of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 presented by Jaguar Land Rover. The Invictus Games, an international sporting event for physically and mentally wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, will start in exactly one year and will be held in Zuiderpark in The Hague.
Joined by the Chairman of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, Lieutenant General (retired), Mart de Kruif, Honorary Chairman HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, and Major of The Hague, Pauline Krikke, the Duke of Sussex gave a speech to launch the countdown.
Addressing the organisers and the Dutch public, The Duke said: “I know that once again you will fully get behind the Servicemen and women who have represented their countries so bravely, and that everyone watching here and around the world won’t want to miss a single moment of these Games…..make these Games your own, we chose you for a reason, and it wasn’t just because I like the colour orange.”
During the day, Minister of Defence, Ank Bijleveld- Schouten, and Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Bruno Bruins, joined the Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation to observe a demonstration of wheelchair basketball and archery by potential Dutch participants of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020. There, the Duke of Sussex spoke with potential participants about their preparations for this unique event.
Joyce van de Waardenburg, a potential competitor of the Invictus Games 2020, spoke with the Duke: “An incredibly sympathetic man. It is particularly impressive how he puts the Invictus Games on the map and with that creates recognition for people with experiences like mine. Sport is an essential outlet. Without sport I would not be here like this.”
Chairman Mart de Kruif was also delighted to welcome Jaguar Land Rover as Presenting Partner, extending the company’s support for a fifth Invictus Games. Earlier in the day, The Duke and other guests were given a demonstration of Jaguar Land Rover’s mobility door prototype technology , which is specially developed to open and close the car door with power assistance.
A prototype of the new Land Rover Defender, complete with Invictus Games The Hague 2020 camouflage, was also shown. The new Land Rover Defender will be used for the Driving Challenge at the Invictus Games in 2020.
Prof Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said “Everyone at Jaguar Land Rover is hugely passionate about the Invictus Games. We are delighted to continue as Presenting Partner for 2020. Having been to the US, Canada and Australia, we are excited to welcome this inspirational event back to Europe. I am so proud the competitors will be among the first people in the world to drive the new Defender when they compete in the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge in The Hague.”
Following the demonstration, The Duke of Sussex was invited for a typical Dutch bicycle tour through the Zuiderpark joined by former competitor Dennis van der Stroom and Invictus Games the Hague 2020 Chairman Lieutenant General (retired), Mart de Kruif. On the way, they were shown how in one year, this park will be transformed into the Invictus Games Park.
Taking place from 9 – 16 May 2020, 500 competitors from 19 countries will participate in ten adaptive sporting events. Find out more at www.invictusgames2020.com