The UK team have been invited by their American allies to take part in the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, which will see more than 200 wounded and injured servicemen and women and veterans competing in 7 sports, including archery, cycling, shooting, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball, until Thursday 16 May.
Yesterday, Sunday 12 May, Prince Harry, known in the Army as Captain Wales, started the first event of the Warrior Games – the men’s handcycle competition – at the US Air Force Academy. He said:
There’s no reason why the Warrior Games shouldn’t be recognised… with the same amount of attention as the Olympics and Paralympics.
The UK team, funded by military charity Help for Heroes, includes Captain David Henson, who lost both legs after standing on an improvised explosive device whilst serving in Afghanistan.
This is the second year Captain Henson has competed at the Games thanks to funding and support from Help for Heroes. He said:
It’s great to be back at the Warrior Games again this year. The Games provide an opportunity for those who have suffered a life-changing injury to get back to some normality by doing something they may have done before their injury; it would be wonderful to have something like this in the UK.
Charities like Help for Heroes are so important to make sure these types of opportunities and support are there for the rest of our lives.
Martin Colclough, Head of Physical Recovery at Help for Heroes, said:
Physical activity is a key component in recovery, and sport, at whatever level, is important to encourage confidence and independence.
Regular participation in inclusive sport is proven to help someone who has suffered a life-changing injury or illness. We’re really looking forward to the Games starting and are confident we’ve got a good team to challenge the Americans on their own turf.
The Warrior Games is a competitive paralympic sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and veterans, hosted by the US Olympic Committee and presented by Deloitte.