Matthew Trigg playing wheelchair rugby, wearing a red Team UK t-shirt

Invictus Games: Matthew's story

Army veteran Matthew suffered a life-altering injury whilst serving. The Invictus Games have allowed him to set new goals, showing him that no obstacle is insurmountable.

From a young age, Matthew had dreamt of serving in the military.  

His path to service began with his involvement as an active Cadet during his teenage years, where through a gliding scholarship, he ended up as an instructor aged just 18 – meaning that he was able to teach someone how to fly before he could even drive a car! 

After joining the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers (REME) as an Armourer, a chance opportunity to do skiing, something he’d only done once before, led to him becoming part of the REME Ski team. 

Matthew Trigg playing wheelchair rugby, reaching for the ball in the air

Devastating accident

Whilst with the REME Ski team, Matthew suffered a serious accident on the slopes. 

Initially, this was misdiagnosed as a soft-tissue injury. And it was only a year later, whilst skiing again, that he discovered the severity of what had happened to him.  

His anterior, posterior, and cruciate ligaments were torn, and he also suffered a pulmonary embolism that required resuscitation. 

His injuries were such that he was unable to continue working, and eventually he was medically discharged from the Armed Forces in 2006.

Finding a new purpose 

Sports had always been an integral part of Matthew's life, and even after his injury, he sought new ways to stay active. 

Though he was no longer able to ski, he took up scuba diving. But a change in his medication meant that after a while this was no longer possible for him either. 

Undeterred, he then discovered the Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre, – our facility in Lilleshall that supports wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans. 

It was there, at one of the pre-selection training camps, that he tried out wheelchair basketball for the first time, and it ignited within him a newfound goal – to make Team UK for the Invictus Games

Matthew Trigg sat in a wheelchair holding a ball

"I thought Invictus was performance driven and didn't feel able to apply before, but after talking to a friend who went through the process, I realised it would give me a chance to compete and to feel worthwhile again." 

Selection for Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 

Being selected to compete in at the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf initially left Matthew feeling "a bit stunned". 

"The leg always holds me back," says Matthew. "I’ve always had a feeling that I’ve never quite achieved what I could have. Which is silly, as I’ve done loads, probably more since I became disabled than when I was able bodied, but this is different."  

He is most looking forward to enjoying himself and having a good time, and although winning would be a bonus, just the chance to compete on the international stage already feels to him like a huge achievement. 

Matthew Trigg playing wheelchair rugby, he is laughing with another player

Always one to set his sights high, Matthew is already looking ahead to 2025, where he hopes to be selected to compete in the winter edition of the Games.  

"Beyond the Games, having achieved the goal I set myself of making the Invictus Games team, I’m now looking for my next goal," says Matthew. 

"The next Invictus is winter sports, perhaps I can get myself back to skiing. I’ve reached what I aimed for, so this is a stepping stone."  

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