News story

Sporting event for wounded personnel

Prince Harry has launched a new international sporting event called the Invictus Games.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Invictus Games are a brand new international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel from around the world

The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, have today, 6 March, launched a brand new international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel from around the world.

The UK will host the first Invictus Games, which will officially commence on 10 September at iconic venues in London, including the Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre.

The event will see more than 300 competitors from 13 nations across the world take part in 8 adaptive sports ranging from athletics and wheelchair basketball to road cycling.

Building on the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the Invictus Games represent another celebration of adaptive sport in the UK.

They will use sport to help inspire recovery and rehabilitation and build a greater understanding and respect for all those who risk their lives for their country.

Prince Harry speaking at the launch of the Invictus Games
Prince Harry speaking at the launch of the Invictus Games [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Derek Wade, Crown copyright]

Speaking about the Games, His Royal Highness Prince Harry said:

I have witnessed first-hand how the power of sport can positively impact the lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in their journey of recovery.

The Invictus Games will focus on what they can achieve post-injury and celebrate their fighting spirit through an inclusive sporting competition that recognises the sacrifices they have made.

I am extremely proud that we are bringing an event like this to the UK for the first time and believe it can have a long-lasting impact on the well-being of those who have served their nations so bravely.

Personnel and veterans from armed forces across the world will now have the opportunity to compete against other nations they have served alongside to demonstrate the achievements made through their rehabilitation and recovery.

It is hoped that the Invictus Games will then inspire future generations to realise their full potential through sport.

Prince Harry joins in with a sitting volleyball game at the launch of the Invictus Games
Prince Harry joins in with a sitting volleyball game at the launch of the Invictus Games [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Derek Wade, Crown copyright]

Philip Hammond added:

It is a privilege that this year the UK will host the first Invictus Games for wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans from across the world.

We know how important physical activity is to aid and assist recovery which is why in the UK we have developed Battle Back, a world-class rehabilitation and recovery programme for our personnel.

This programme is not only changing lives but producing world class athletes. I hope these games will inspire future generations and help them to realise their full potential.

This September competitors and live audiences can look forward to enjoying the occasion both in venues made famous by the London 2012 Olympic Games and on the BBC, who will officially broadcast all coverage of the Games.

The Invictus Games will further be marked by an opening ceremony involving the competitors, and a closing concert, and will be financed by generous contributions from Prince Harry’s Foundation, money secured through the Libor fines and Jaguar Land Rover.

In recognition of their contribution, Jaguar Land Rover will become the official presenting partner of the Invictus Games which extends their commitment to promoting the valuable role of veterans as skilled employees.

You can follow the Invictus Games on Twitter @invictuslondon and #invictusgames

Published 6 March 2014