Prince Harry unveils the UK team for the Invictus Games Toronto 2017Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, recently unveiled the team of 90 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.
The 90-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans came together for the first time since selection at the Tower of London. Prince Harry met the team ahead of the forthcoming Invictus Games this month and posed for the first official team photograph.
More hopefuls than ever before, 306 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialled 11 sports for one of the 90 places available on the UK team. The rigorous selection process was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.
The 2017 UK Team Captain was also named as former Army Major Bernie Broad, who takes over the mantel from 2016 Captain David Wiseman. Bernie lost both his legs below the knee due to injuries sustained in an explosion in Helmand Province in 2009. He underwent four years of extensive surgery and rehabilitation followed by two years of assistance from the Personnel Recovery Unit at Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell.
He said: “Since being medically retired from the Armed Forces in 2014, I feel that I have taken my foot off the gas and become quite complacent. I have always been a keen and competitive sportsman, so I kick started my fitness regime and now regularly swim, cycle and walk. I am looking forward to taking part in the Invictus Games as I see this involvement as a way to re-focus me physically and mentally and to
re-engage in a full, active, competitive and fulfilling life.”
Over 60% of this year’s team are new to the Invictus Games and were spurred on to apply off the back of the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014, the success of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando and the day-to-day sports recovery activity that takes place.
The team will compete in 11 sports: Athletics; Archery; Wheelchair Basketball; Cycling; Powerlifting; Indoor Rowing; Wheelchair Rugby; Swimming, Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Tennis and a new sport for 2017, Golf.
The Royal British Legion will be supporting the friends and family, including carers, of the UK team as part of its work to recognise the vital and valuable contribution that they make to the recovery of WIS Service personnel and veterans.
The Legion’s Director General, Charles Byrne said: “The Legion is proud to be supporting the friends and family of the UK team athletes at the Invictus Games 2017. We know how important the support of friends and family is to the team, both in their performance and recovery, so their involvement in the games is key. The Legion is co-ordinating travel, accommodation and tickets for family and friends to attend the games in Toronto, to ensure that every athlete can enjoy the support of their loved ones. We will also be providing support to friends and family in the UK in preparation for the games, as well as out in Toronto.”