Prince Harry joined the 2017 UK team of Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) Service personnel and veterans for their first official team photograph at the Tower of London today. Following the unveiling, Prince Harry, who is patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, joined competitors at a reception in Plaisterers Hall.
The Invictus Games harness the power of sport to inspire recovery and generate wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country. Getting involved in sport provides significant physical and mental health benefits including increasing self-confidence and psychological empowerment.
More than 300 WIS personnel and veterans applied for one of 90 places available on the team. Selection criteria included the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training. 62% of the team are new to the Invictus Games with only 8% having competed in the two previous games, London 2014 and Orlando 2016.
The UK team will join 16 other nations at the third Invictus Games from 23-30 September in Toronto, Canada. They will compete across 12 sports: athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball, wheelchair tennis, the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge, and a new sport for 2017, golf.
The 2017 UK team captain has been named as former Army Major Bernie Broad. He served in the Grenadier Guards for around 30 years and due to injuries sustained in an explosion in Afghanistan 2009 lost both his legs below the knee.
The Invictus Games are empowering and inspire all of us as competitors to be the best version of ourselves. It allows us to be judged on what we can achieve, rather than what we can’t.
To simply be selected for the UK Team was an amazing achievement. To then be further selected as the UK Team Captain filled me with such immense pride and it is a huge privilege to be given this honour.
Between now and the Games, training will take place across the country at recovery centres and other external venues to train and develop the team.
The UK delegation to the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 is being delivered by a partnership comprising The Ministry of Defence (MOD), Help for Heroes, and The Royal British Legion.
The full team list can be found on the Help for Heroes website.