Invictus Games Foundation supports Bethnal Green Academy’s ‘Celebrating Difference Week’

29 February 2016 – Three competitors from the 2014 Invictus Games last week attended Bethnal Green Academy’s ‘Celebrating Difference Week’, an annual event which champions disability and difference, challenges ignorance and promotes awareness.

Andy Grant with students from Bethnal Green Academy
Andy Grant with students from Bethnal Green Academy

Andy Grant, a former Royal Marine and double Gold medal winning Invictus Games athlete helped kick off the special week with a presentation that left students moved and exhilarated. Andy spoke of his time in the Marines, his injury, rehabilitation and ultimately his drive and determination to turn a negative into a positive. His message that sport helped him overcome some of the toughest challenges was heard loud and clear by students.

Gaz Golighty and Rob Cromey-Hawke presenting Celebrating Difference awards to students from Bethnal Green Academy
Gaz Golighty and Rob Cromey-Hawke presenting Celebrating Difference awards to students from Bethnal Green Academy

Gaz Golighty and Rob Cromey-Hawke, both Armed Forces veterans and Gold medal winning competitors, were guests of honour at the Celebrating Difference Award Ceremony. The awards are a chance for the school to shine a light on students that go above and beyond in showing kindness and compassion and are a real inspiration to others.

Rob Cromey-Hawke is former Captain with the Army in the Royal Engineers. He was injured during his second tour of Afghanistan in 2012 after the vehicle he was traveling in drove over an IED. He sustained a traumatic brain injury, back and spinal injuries and hearing loss. Gaz Golighty’s career as a vehicle specialist in the Royal Logistic Corps ended less than a year after it had begun when he lost a leg following a hit and run which left him having to drag his battered body out of a blazing car.

Rob Cromey-Hawke said: “It’s fantastic that each year Bethnal Green Academy puts on this special week to help promote awareness and understanding of disability and difference and we were honoured to be invited this year. We me some pretty inspirational people. Andy, Gaz and myself have been through some tough times but I’m hoping that we showed students that there is life post-injury and that it is possible to overcome whatever challenge life throws at you.”

Jake Hamilton, a student at Bethnal Green Academy who took part in ‘Celebrating Difference Week’ said: “The Invictus athletes were amazing! To know what they have been through and see what they have achieved is really inspiring.”

Danny Stokes, Deputy Director of Learning SENCO at Bethnal Green Academy said: “The Invictus Games competitors who attended our ‘Celebrating Difference Week’ were a real Inspiration for our young people. We’d like to thank the Invictus Games Foundation for their support with this event and their help in making it make a real success.”

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