It's hard to truly understand how important the Invictus Games are until you've witnessed them. As Mickey Yule, who won gold in the 2016 Invictus Games, says, "When you turn up, you've already achieved more than you've ever thought you could, because you’re pushing yourself outside of that comfort zone.
"That’s a great step, and those taking part should be proud of themselves the minute they walk in."
Last weekend hundreds of Invictus hopefuls took that first step, and we were there to see how they got on.
This was the first year that friends and family were invited.
Friends and families play an important part, supporting those who have been injured in their recovery. It was fantastic to see so many come along to cheer on those hoping to make it all way to Sydney.
“Behind every hopeful trying out for a place on the UK team, there are friends and family members who have helped get them to the start line," says Antony Baines, Director of Operations at The Royal British Legion. "A life-changing injury or illness has a huge impact on both the individual and those around them.
"Military families are there throughout the lowest points of injury, so it’s only right that they are here today supporting their loved ones through their recovery. The Invictus Games is about more than the athletes themselves, it’s about the partners, parents, children and carers, who will be cheering them on every step of the way.”
Despite the cold weather, friends and families turned out in impressive style to cheer on their nearest and dearest.
They were able to provide comfort to hopefuls about to take part in the trials.
Those taking to the track gave it their all.
While activities were laid on for those who were there to provide support.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made an appearance on the Friday to chat to those taking part.
Young and old were there to cheer on those taking part.
With limited space in the UK team, there was fierce competition for places.
Hopefuls took on a variety of challenges, from sitting volley ball to long jump.
Face painting was also available for those who wanted a splash of colour.
The Invictus Games have been going from strength to strength. More hopefuls than ever before (over 450) applied to take part in the 2018 Invictus Games. They all plan on being selected as part of the 72-strong UK team that will head to Sydney, Australia in October. 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.
The Legion wishes them the best of luck, and will be there supporting the Friends and Family of the UK Team. We recognise the vital and valuable contribution that family and friends make to the recovery of wounded, injured or sick Service personnel and veterans.