Liz in a wheelchair in a basketball court. She is facing the camera head on, wearing a navy Team UK RBL shirt. Behind her we can see some Team UK and RBL signs.

Invictus Games: Liz’s story

Liz served in the RAF for 11 years before her diagnosis of fibromyalgia made it difficult for her to continue. She decided she didn’t want to give up, and has used sport to help overcome physical and mental health challenges.

Liz joined the RAF aged 18, serving for 11 years as a General Technician Mechanic. 

She loved her time in service and believes her experiences in the Armed Forces made her the person she is today. 

Liz in combat gear. She is smiling at the camera. She is holding a trophy in both hands. Behind her we can see a Union Jack strung up, as well as some Armed Forces personnel having a conversation in the background.
Liz whilst serving in the RAF.

Life in service

"Some of my favourite memories are of the friends I made,” Liz explains.

“My service would not have been the same without them. They offered support, encouraged me, and most importantly, they made me laugh.

Liz whilst serving in the RAF.

Fibromyalgia diagnosis


Liz developed right knee pain early on in her career. 


Despite surgery in 2008/09 the pain continued, and she also started to experience severe headaches, body pain and fatigue, and depression.


She was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a petellofemoral joint disorder. Despite wanting to carry on, it became difficult, and she was medically discharged in 2018.  


Leaving the RAF was hard for Liz. “Joining civvy street was a scary transition, and having to deal with health issues, I found it hard to focus and to motivate myself.” 

Joining civvy street was a scary transition.
Liz in full combat gear. She has paints smeared over her face and is holding a gun. Liz in a group of other young Armed Forces personnel. They are all dressed in combat gear and are huddled together on the floor to take the picture. Selfie of Liz. She is wearing a purple hoodie and is smiling at the camera. Behind her we can see that she's standing in a forest.

Sports recovery

However, she didn’t give up.   

Sports became a lifeline for her, and she began using fitness to motivate herself and to push forward.  

Her determination paid off, as she lost 3.5 stone and worked hard to ensure her symptoms were manageable.  

In 2017, she took part in a course at the RBL’s Battle Back Centre for the wounded, injured and sick in Lilleshall, Shropshire. It was here that she had her first taste of wheelchair basketball, and absolutely loved it.  

She then went on to participate in the Invictus Games pre-selection training camps. 


“I have always been into sports and used to play a lot of football, however my knee injury means that even walking can cause a lot of pain,” says Liz.  


 “I finally plucked up the courage to attend the Invictus pre-selection training camps as I thought, really, what have I got to lose! Although I was nervous about being there, as soon as I started playing I had so much fun and I was beaming. 


“I heard the experiences of others who had taken part in previous games and I already saw a difference in my own confidence and happiness, so I decided to apply.” 


The Invictus Games

The Invictus Games harnesses the power of sport to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation for wounded, injured or sick servicemen and women.
Find out more
Liz on a basketball court playing wheelchair basketball. She is in a wheelchair, about to take the ball another wheelchair user is passing to her..
Liz playing wheelchair basketball at a training camp.

Selection for Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023

When she found out she’d been selected to take part in the Invictus Games with Team UK, Liz “couldn’t stop smiling for days.” 
Liz playing wheelchair basketball at a training camp.
My partner, Pex, is also really excited to come along and understand more about the Armed Forces community.

“To represent your country on a global stage is just amazing and when I stop and think about it, it still blows my mind. 


“My partner, Pex, is also really excited to come along and understand more about the Armed Forces community and immerse herself in the family and friends element, and just to be part of the Invictus community for life is just a wonderful thing to be part of already.” 

With selection and training already giving her a great boost, Liz can’t wait to see how taking part in the Invictus Games will further enrich her life.  

“Beyond the physical benefits, I’m hoping that by showing myself what I can do, I’ll grow my self-esteem and I’ll improve my confidence.  

“A medal would be amazing, but if I’m honest just taking this journey and experiencing it all with the rest of my team, is an honour in itself.   

“Beyond the games I think being able to say you are Invictus alumni will be so special, and I don’t know where it could lead, but I’m excited to find out.” 

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