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A team of UK armed forces veterans joined over 500 other veterans to compete in the largest annual wheelchair sporting event in the world.
The 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games, presented by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), took place in Tampa, Florida in July. 16 UK veterans were among the athletes competing at this year’s games. The games included 18 sporting events, including archery, basketball, quad rugby, track and field, swimming, and weightlifting to name a few.
A UK-based team has been participating in the Wheelchair Games since 1986. British Consul General Kevin McGurgan visited Tampa to co-host a reception with senior UK military personnel in honour of the UK team participating at the Wheelchair Games. The team’s success was marked by their winning 21 gold, 8 silver, and 6 bronze medals, with each athlete returning to the UK with at least one medal.
Alongside the Wheelchair Games opening ceremony, UK-based company Mountain Trike participated at the annual business exposition with support from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). Mountain Trike manufactures and sells an all-terrain wheelchair that is capable of allowing riders to go off-road in sand, snow, ice, gravel, mud, cobbled streets, and woodland paths among others.
While in Tampa, Consul General McGurgan also spoke to business leaders and media outlets about the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP). His interview with Florida Trend discusses UK business interests in Florida.
Consul General McGurgan also met city representatives in Arcadia to thank them for the city’s annual remembrance service for 23 Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots who died during WWII training in central Florida and are now buried in a Commonwealth War Grave in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The pilots were members of the No 5 RAF British Training School.