Prince Harry unveils the UK team for the Invictus Games 2016
A 110-strong team of personnel and veterans will represent the UK at the Invictus Games 2016 next month.
Prince Harry, patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, unveiled the team at Buckingham Palace this morning. He met the team and posed for the first official team photograph.
More than 180 Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) personnel and veterans tried out for one of the 110 places available on the UK team. The selection process was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.
Getting involved in sport helps with self-confidence and feeling psychologically empowered. Significant physical and mental health benefits can be translated outside of sport and into everyday life.
The UK delegation to the Invictus Games 2016 is being delivered by a partnership comprising the Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes, and the Royal British Legion.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
Everyone selected for the UK team can be proud of what they have achieved as they prepare for success in Orlando. The MOD is once again backing this superb event and I look forward to being there to see our personnel and veterans demonstrate their fighting spirit.
The team will compete in 10 sports: athletics, archery wheelchair basketball, road cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball, and a new sport for 2016, wheelchair tennis.
The 2016 UK team captain has been named as former Army Captain David Wiseman. He was shot by the enemy when commanding a small British Infantry team embedded within the Afghan National Army in Nad-e Ali district, in Helmand province in 2009.
A bullet entered his shoulder and travelled the length of his torso and hit his ribs. The bullet came to rest in his right lung, where it resides to this day. Capt Wiseman was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012, a condition which is now manageable but still a part of his day-to-day life.
I have a huge emotional attachment to the Invictus Games and could not be prouder to have been selected to Captain the UK Team at Orlando 2016. The reason for my pride?
I think the Invictus Games is a shining example of what this community can achieve, a group of individuals from around the world coming together in order to show everyone that beyond injury, they can achieve the extraordinary.
The team launch also marked the official handover of the Invictus Games flag from Prince Harry to US team captain, Will Reynolds, signifying the handover from London to Orlando.
The Invictus Games 2016 are being held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from 8 to 12 May 2016. The full team list is here: http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/sports-recovery/uk-athletes/