The Invictus Games will take place in London during the second week of September 2014. The event will be a highlight in the year’s sporting fixtures calendar; an international, all-inclusive event that stands as testament to the world’s support for those in the Armed Forces who have sacrificed so much in the service of their country.
Competitors will comprise Armed Forces Personnel and veterans who were injured or wounded whilst on active service. Their participation will serve to promote sport as an important part of their recovery process and will inspire all who spectate to challenge their perceptions of what is actually achievable through sheer grit and determination to overcome adversity.
Three hundred athletes from twelve nations will compete alongside the UK in a total of eight different events; archery, wheelchair basketball, athletics, indoor rowing, road cycling, swimming, wheelchair rugby and sitting volleyball. Jaguar Land Rover is to sponsor a driving challenge as part of the schedule of events. All the events will be open to advanced athletes and relative newcomers alike, making the competition truly inclusive.
The Games will be held in various iconic venues including many of those built for the 2012 London Olympics and will run across four days from 10 – 14 September 2014.
The Invictus Games were launched earlier this year by HRH Prince Harry who has served in Afghanistan with some of the injured servicemen and women who will be taking part in the games. Much of the seed capital required to get the venture off the ground was put up by The Endeavour Fund in partnership with the Ministry of Defence and is being organised in partnership with the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also pledged his support for the event by donating £1 million from the LIBOR fund and Jaguar Land Rover has pledged further funding and support.
Further valuable experience is brought to the table in the form of Sir Keith Mills GBE who was Deputy Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games together with members of the original team behind the London 2012 games. Momentum is gathering with several high profile selection events having been attended by Prince Harry recently.
The event was inspired by the ‘Warrior Games’ which took place in the United States and it is hoped that the competition will show just what can be achieved through sheer determination to overcome adversity and physical disability. Many of those hoping to represent their country in the Games have found that training and taking part in physically demanding sports have helped them to overcome the mental trauma of coming to terms with their life-changing injuries.
These brave men and women shine as a beacon to all of us, both disabled and able-bodied, to show what can be achieved and overcome with support, comradeship and bravery.
Good luck to them all!