Ensuring the legacy of the invictus games
Dominic Reid, Managing Director of the Invictus Games Foundation
It seems unbelievable that it is now over a year since we hosted the inaugural Invictus Games in London.
I will never forget seeing the venues packed with cheering crowds, so inspired by what they were watching. And it wasn’t just about the sporting performances and the medals being won. It was the expressions on the competitors faces and the faces of their families and friends – joy, relief and elation at what they had achieved.
Months, even years before, many of these men and women had been broken, both psychologically and physically, by the life-changing injuries that had ended their careers in the military and seriously impacted their day-to-day lives. How was it possible for them to find the strength and courage to start from scratch and find new purpose in life?
We know how powerful sport can be. Both at a grassroots or elite level, it can change people’s lives. And that’s exactly what we wanted to do with the Invictus Games – use the power of sport to help wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women on their journey of recovery.
We knew that sport would help these men and women find the motivation to move on and not be defined by their injuries. The Invictus Games would give them back that sense of camaraderie and competitiveness that they had enjoyed during their service.
The impact on competitors and their friends and family was far greater and more positive than we could ever have hoped for. So we knew straight away that this couldn’t be a one-off event. There are hundreds more men and women out there who are still embarking on their recovery pathway who could benefit from taking part in the Games in the future. As Prince Harry explained recently:
“For every competitor last September, there are hundreds of others around the world who would benefit from having the same opportunity.”
So we established the Invictus Games Foundation to select the hosts of future games and overseeing their delivery. The Foundation exists to provide sporting opportunities for our wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. We’re thrilled that the next Games will take place in Orlando, USA next year and that, once again, hundreds of competitors will be able to show us, and themselves, what they are capable of post injury.
We are very excited that we will be continuing to help Servicemen and women as they continue with their recovery and rehabilitation. Make sure you keep an eye out for more exciting updates and developments.
The 2016 Games is just the next step on the Invictus Games journey.