- Prince Harry joined wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans, including Cornelia Oosthuizen, 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.
Cornelia Oosthuizen from Salisbury took part in the Invictus Games trials this weekend where she met HRH Prince Harry and other hopefuls ahead of the third Invictus Games in September this year.
The Invictus Games Foundation Patron met with serving and veteran servicemen and women, including Cornelia, 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. Help for Heroes is leading the work to train, select and develop the team for the Invictus Games.
Cornelia, a former Army Major, competed in athletics, swimming, cycling, wheelchair tennis and golf over the course of the weekend. She commented:
“I love sport, it’s a way to remain active and is great for moral. It would be a real privilege to be selected. To represent your country again would be an absolute gift.
“It’s nice to realise there’s so much you can still do. Competing gives me the chance to own my abilities while getting to enjoy myself and meet some great people. It’s a great bunch here, everyone is giving their best.”
“The trials have offered a very supportive environment, the opportunities are there to progress in your life. Invictus can give me a platform to hopefully go on and compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.”
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 had 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 provided 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.
The Invictus Games Toronto 2017, sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover, will take place from 23 – 30 September. To find out more, go to www.invictusgames2017.com