Prince Harry reveals UK Invictus Games team for 2017
More hopefuls than ever before tried out for one of the 90 places available on the UK team.
LocationTower of London
Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, has this morning revealed 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 at the Tower of London for the first time since selection.
More than ever before; 306 hopefuls trialed 11 sports for one of the 90 places available on the UK team. The rigorous selection process focused 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 this morning as former Army Major Bernie Broad. 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.
"The Invictus Games allow us to be judged on what we can achieve, rather than what we can’t."2017 UK Team Captain, Bernie Broad
He said: “Since being medically retired from the Armed Forces in 2014, I initially became quite complacent. Although I have always been a keen and competitive sportsman, so I kick-started my fitness regime and now I regularly swim, cycle and walk. I'm looking forward to taking part in the Invictus Games to re-focus me physically and mentally and to re-engage in an active, competitive and fulfilling life.”
On being chosen as UK Team Captain, he added: “The Invictus Games are empowering and inspire all of us as competitors to be the best version of ourselves. It allows us to be judged on what we can achieve, rather than what we can’t. To be selected as the UK Team Captain filled me with such immense pride and it is a huge privilege to be given this honour. I definitely stood taller and my chest expanded quite a bit!”
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 and the success of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando.
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. 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.”
The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 will take place from 23 – 30 September. To find out more, go to www.invictusgames2017.com.