A team of 72 wounded, injured and sick current and former military personnel have departed from London Heathrow for Sydney, Australia to represent the UK in the fourth Invictus Games.
Competitors from 18 nations will compete in 11 medal sports with events being staged across Sydney, including at Sydney Olympic Park and in Sydney Harbour. The event will begin with an opening ceremony on 20 October at the Sydney Opera House.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
I wish all of our UK competitors the best of luck in Australia. The word ‘invictus’ means unconquered and perfectly embodies the fighting spirit of our armed forces and ex-service personnel. Meeting many Invictus competitors this year, I learned how sport is spurring on recovery. Our armed forces have a world-class attitude and I am sure they will make their mark.
Jayne Kavanagh, the UK Team’s Chef de Mission from the charity Help for Heroes, said:
Team UK have been working extremely hard for this moment and are ready to do the nation proud in Sydney. Achieving their goals with the British public behind them provides an incredible springboard for the recovery journeys that will continue long after the Games have ended. We are very grateful to our partners and sponsors who have helped make this opportunity possible.
Captain of the UK Invictus Games team, Mark ‘Dot’ Perkins, said:
Today is the culmination of months of careful preparation by all 72 competitors and the many staff, friends and family who have supported us. The next two weeks will demonstrate the unique power of sport to support recovery. Team UK are ready, raring to go and enjoying the camaraderie which the armed forces are famous for.
The Invictus Games is an international multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick current and former military personnel. Getting involved in sport provides significant physical and mental health benefits including increased self-confidence.
More than 60% of this year’s British competitors are new to the Invictus Games. More hopefuls than ever before trialled for a place on the team this year, with 72 competitors being selected from 451 potential competitors.
Team members were chosen for their performance, their commitment to training and the benefit to their recovery competing will provide.
The competitors will be joined in Sydney by hundreds of friends and family members who will make the journey to show their support.
Team UK has been delivered through a partnership of the Ministry of Defence, The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes. The Invictus Games Sydney 2018 will take place from 20-27 October.