Invictus Games Orlando 2016 to host Policy Symposium in partnership with George W. Bush Institute
The Invictus Games Orlando 2016, in partnership with the the George W. Bush Institute, have announced that they will co-chair a policy symposium which will address invisible wounds of war and the role of sports in the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.
The symposium, which will be held prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 presented by Jaguar Land Rover, will highlight the critical roles of organisations involved in the Games and the international need to support wounded warriors and their families.
The symposium will feature representatives from the 15 nations who will be competing in the Invictus Games, along with leading representatives from the veterans, military, business, non-profit and government sectors. Participants will gather to discuss solutions aimed at helping returning servicemen and women overcome their injuries, improve outcomes for their transition back to civilian life and ensure veterans and caregivers seek and receive comprehensive care and reduce the stigma associated with these wounds.
The Invictus Games Orlando 2016 Organising Committee also announced that President Bush will serve as its Honorary Chair.
President Bush said: “I have dedicated the rest of my life to honoring the service and sacrifice of the men and women with whom I served as Commander-in-Chief. Those who wear their Nation’s uniform, some of whom have been overcome both visible and invisible injuries, deserve our support. I’m proud to serve as honorary chairman of the Invictus Games Orlando 2016, and to shine a spotlight on the unconquered spirit of these men and women, not just from the American team but from 15 Coalition nations.”
Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Invictus Games Orlando 2016 said: “We are thrilled to co-host the first policy symposium on the invisible wounds of war and the role sports and physical activity have in a warrior’s recovery. We must continue the dialogue that will inspire these men and women to re-engage, to embody what they can do and shine a light in the often dark and isolated area of invisible injuries.”
Since leaving the White House, President Bush has remained a tireless advocate for American veterans and their families. In 2009, President Bush founded the George W. Bush Institute and its Military Service Initiative (MSI). Through the MSI, the Institute honours those who have served and sacrificed in the United States Armed Forces post-9/11 by bridging the Civilian-Military divide and fostering a successful transition and reintegration from military service to civilian life.
The Bush Institute has been working to reduce the stigma associated with the invisible wounds of war and improve the health and wellness of those living with these injuries. Through the MSI, the Bush Institute has been conducting an annual Warrior Open Golf Tournament to honour U.S. service members. Each spring, the Institute hosts the W100K, a 100 kilometre mountain bike ride with President Bush and wounded servicemen and women.
With the Invictus Games Orlando 2016, the Bush Institute aims to form an impactful partnership that will raise awareness of the challenges facing those suffering from the invisible wounds of war, increase initiatives to improve their physical, mental, and spiritual recovery, and complement existing efforts in these areas.
The Invictus Games Orlando 2016 will bring together more than 500 competitors from 15 nations to compete in 10 military adaptive sports: archery, cycling, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, powerlifting, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis.