Team UK unveiled for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018
72-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel and veterans have been selected to represent the UK at the 2018 Invictus Games.
The team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 was exclusively unveiled this morning at Horse Guards Parade.
The team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans came together for the first time since selection at the iconic London venue and were joined by Prime Minister Theresa May who posed with the athletes for the first official team photograph and wished them luck for the Games in October.
Prime Minister Theresa May meeting members of Team UK © Crown copyright 2013
The athletes – 64% of whom are new to Invictus - were also joined by former Team UK captains, including Paralympic Bronze medallist Dave Henson.
More hopefuls than ever before, 451 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialed 11 sports for one of the 72 places available on Team UK. The trials were attended by HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in one of their last joint appearances before the Royal Wedding.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Trials in April
"There are few moments in one's life when an event occurs that truly transforms your life, the Invictus Games is it."2018 UK Team Captain Mark Perkins
The rigorous selection process for Team UK 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 2018 UK Team Captain was also named this morning as Mark “Dot” Perkins.
Former Royal Signals Corporal Dot was discharged in 2005 now works as a civil servant rehabilitating injured soldiers and will compete in cycling and rowing. He said: “There are few moments in one's life when an event occurs that truly transforms your life, the Invictus Games is it. They are all about empowerment, they empower us all to fight the chains of physical disability, to fight the intangible burden of mental illness and they empower us to focus on being the best we can be despite the scars that we all now wear.
© Crown copyright 2013
“Whilst participating in the games our scars are like Medals that we can proudly display rather than hide in shame or embarrassment. Invictus allows us to be judged on what we can achieve, rather than what we can’t. To simply be selected for Team UK was an amazing achievement. To then be further selected as the Captain and to represent these incredibly brave men and women is extremely humbling, it is a huge privilege to be given this honour.”
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 2018, Sailing.
The Royal British Legion will be supporting the friends and family, including carers, of Team UK as part of its work to recognise the vital and valuable contribution that they make to the recovery of WIS Service personnel and veterans.