Prince Harry visits UK Invictus Games hopefuls at trials

  • Prince Harry joined wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans who are trying out for a place on the UK team at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.
  • More hopefuls than ever before (306) have applied to take part in the 2017 Invictus Games. Of those 306, 212 have never before taken part in the Invictus Games.
  • The Invictus Games is a multi-sport event that is open to wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans – it will take place for the third time in September 2017 in Toronto, Canada.
  • Getting involved in sport helps with self-confidence and feeling psychologically empowered. These significant mental health benefits can be translated outside of sport and into everyday life.
  • The UK delegation to the Invictus Games 2017 is being delivered by a partnership comprising Help for Heroes (H4H), The Ministry of Defence (MOD), and The Royal British Legion (TRBL).
  • The UK team, and the Games themselves, are being supported for the third time by Jaguar Land Rover.

Prince Harry today met Invictus Games hopefuls as they were taking part in UK team trials at the University of Bath Sports Training Village ahead of the third Invictus Games in September this year.

The Invictus Games Foundation Patron met with serving and veteran servicemen and women who are using sport as part of their recovery, and who hope to be selected as part of the 90-strong UK team that will head out to Toronto, Canada from 23 – 30 September. More hopefuls than ever before – 306 – have applied to take part in the 2017 Invictus Games, of which 212 have never before taken part in the Games before.

The Invictus Games set out to harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for our wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. The UK team will be selected based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.

Hopefuls will have the opportunity to take part in 11 sports at the trials: Athletics, Archery, Wheelchair Basketball, Road Cycling, Golf, Powerlifting, Indoor Rowing, Wheelchair Rugby, Swimming, Sitting Volleyball and Wheelchair Tennis.

Jayne Kavanagh, Chef De Mission for the UK team, said: “The legacy of the Invictus Games is clear to see through the fact that more than 300 hopefuls are vying for their place on the team this weekend, 212 of which haven’t taken part in a previous Games. The Invictus Games in London and Orlando demonstrated how powerful sport is as a means of rebuilding confidence as well as aiding physical and mental recovery. Trials will provide the opportunity for hopefuls to demonstrate both their performance ability and, more importantly, their commitment towards both the UK Team and their personal recovery journeys. It is brilliant to see how the success of the first and second Invictus Games has not only supported the recovery of those who took part but also inspired so many others to rebuild their lives through sport.”

Continued training will take place across the country at Recovery Centres and other venues as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme to train, select and develop the team. The MOD is a partner in the Defence Recovery Capability, a programme which helps wounded, injured and sick Service personnel either return to duty from injury or transition back into civilian life. The Royal British Legion will be supporting the Friends and Family of the UK Team as part of its work to recognise the vital and valuable contribution that family and friends make to the recovery of wounded, injured or sick Service personnel and veterans.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “The Invictus Games promote the importance of sport in the recovery process, and provide inspiration and opportunity to our injured Servicemen and women. I saw first-hand the strength and determination of competitors at the previous Games, and I wish all those taking part in this year’s trials the best of luck as they take on this challenge.”

Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director Jeremy Hicks said: “Jaguar Land Rover is delighted to continue its support for the Invictus Games, and with the UK Team.  The increase in the number of those trialling for the Games is testament to the huge interest and affection for the Games not only here in the UK but around the world, and we look forward to supporting those who are successful on their Invictus Games journey.”

The Endeavour Fund, a programme led by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry which supports wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and veterans using sport and adventurous challenges as part of their recovery and rehabilitation, is once again supporting the UK team. It has provided £50,000 funding to support the UK team who will compete at the 2017 Invictus Games.

Harry Holt, Chair of the Endeavour Fund Advisory Board said: “I’m thrilled that the Endeavour Fund is once again supporting the UK team for the Invictus Games and championing this incredible example of how our wounded, injured and sick service personnel can take part in high-level competitive and international sport. This is just one of the many ways in which we’re providing them with opportunities to focus and catalyse their recovery through sport.”

The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 will take place from 23 – 30 September. To find out more, go to www.invictusgames2017.com

 

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