Emmanuel in his navy Invictus Games Team UK kit. He is sat on a volleyball court holding a volleyball up in the air in one of his hands. He is smiling.

Invictus Games: Emmanuel’s story

Army veteran Emmanuel on how the Invictus Games is helping him adjust to life outside the Armed Forces after medical discharge. 

Emmanuel in 1PWRR

Emmanuel joined the British Army in 2013, emigrating with his wife, Grace, and their children from his home country of Nigeria.  

Serving for six years, during which he also trained to be a tank driver, Emmanuel really loved Army life. “I especially loved the routine, the discipline, and the people I served with,” he adds.  

However, at the end of 2018, everything changed when he got into a terrible work accident.  

I got trapped inside a tank fully loaded with ammunition which caught fire, the noise inside was unbelievable

“I managed to escape but the incident left me mentally scarred, and I have suffered with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) ever since.”  

 He was medically discharged in 2019.  

Emmanuel during a game of sitting volleyball. He is photographed in action just as he's about to hit the ball over the net. He has a fierce expression on his face. Around him we can see other sitting volleyball players. Everyone is wearing Team UK kit.
Emmanuel during a game of sitting volleyball at an Invictus Games training camp

Discovering the Invictus Games

A former karate champion in Nigeria, Emmanuel had always been a sporty and competitive person.  

Therefore, trying out for the Invictus Games seemed a natural step on his recovery journey.

Emmanuel during a game of sitting volleyball at an Invictus Games training camp

He applied for Invictus Games The Hague in 2022, but was not selected.   

“I was disappointed about not being selected,” he says. “But I had enjoyed the training camps and found that having sport in my life was a great way to stay positive and keep my focus.  

“So, I thought why not go for it in 2023 and to my surprise I was selected to represent Team UK!”


Selection for Invictus Games Düsseldorf 


Finding out he’d been selected for Invictus Games Düsseldorf was a very special moment for Emmanuel.  


“I was so excited and wanted to shout it so loud and really wanted to scream!” he says. “The biggest thing for me is that I’m representing the UK. I just feel that I’ve made it now and I want to get going.”


I just feel that I’ve made it now and I want to get going.
Emmanuel with his son Chissey
Emmanuel with his son Chizzy.

Support from the RBL

The Invictus Games are not Emmanuel’s first contact with the Royal British Legion. 

Following his discharge, he was referred to the RBL when he needed help with disability benefits for his son Chizzy who is autistic.  

Emmanuel with his son Chizzy.

“Chizzy is 6  and has acute autism,” explains Emmanuel.  

 “He doesn't sleep at night very well and needs 24/7 care at home.  

 “He's not toilet-trained and he has no sense of danger. He doesn't know danger at all so we need to have locks on the doors.” 

He doesn't know danger at all so we need to have locks on the doors.
Emmanuel is wearing a red t-shirt and brown sports shorts. He is standing in the middle of a running track, his arms are outstretched and he looks happy. The sky above him looks bright and clear. Emmanuel is photographed with his family - his wife adn their three children. They are all smiling for the picture and standing in a relaxed manner.

To help care for Chizzy, the family applied for Disability Living Allowance, and were awarded middle rate care. After figuring out that this wasn’t quite right, they sought support from the RBL.  

With help from our financial support team, Emmanuel was able to successfully challenge the decision and Chizzy was awarded high-rate care, as well as mobility support.  

This has meant the world for Emmanuel and his family, making it significantly easier to meet Chizzy’s needs. 

It's Emmanuel’s hope that all his children, including Chizzy, are able to come watch him compete at the Invictus Games Düsseldorf.   

“I really want them to come out to cheer me on, but my son is autistic so we will have to see if he can be accommodated.” 

"I'm looking forward to everything, the socialising, the friends and families, the sport – it’s big – it’s more than sport, – and for me the Invictus Games are a therapy, physically and mentally and I just love it all already!  

“The Invictus Games give me strength and energy – it’s my medicine.” 

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