The Warrior Games, an annual event hosted by the US Olympic Committee (USOC), start next week and will see wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and veterans compete in seven paralympic sporting events from 30 April to 5 May.
More than 200 people will take part in the 2012 Warrior Games, including a UK squad of 21 Service personnel who will compete in five sports - archery, cycling, swimming, track and field, and sitting volleyball (known as ‘seated volleyball’ in the USA).
The UK personnel have been invited by the event’s organisers to take part in the Games as special guests, and their attendance is being supported and funded by the UK charity Help for Heroes.
The UK athletes taking part are from all three Services and they are being accompanied by staff from Personnel Recovery Centres and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court.
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, said:
The 2012 Warrior Games are a great opportunity for our wounded and injured Service personnel to show off their sporting prowess and to demonstrate the fantastic rehabilitation they have received through sport.
This will be the first time the UK has fielded a team in these games, and this underlines the special relationship the UK and the US Armed Forces continue to share. I am proud to support the UK team and wish them the very best of luck for success in the Warrior Games.
Bryn Parry, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Help for Heroes, said:
We are delighted that Help for Heroes will support a UK team in such a high profile US event. We know how important sport is in recovery and are delighted to have supported Battle Back since its inception in 2008.
This is further enhanced through the Battle Back Phoenix programme which is available in the Personnel Recovery Centres for Service personnel and veterans.
Our participation in the Warrior Games is significant in raising awareness of the work that takes place worldwide in supporting wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, especially as we approach a busy year in sport.
Following the Games, Prince Harry will attend a reception on 7 May at the British Ambassador’s residence in Washington to meet members of the British and American Warrior Games teams.
The competition, hosted by the USOC and presented by Deloitte, is also supported by the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, USO, the Fisher House Foundation, the Daniels Fund, AT&T, BP, DeVry, Anheuser-Busch and Chobani.
Follow the UK team’s progress from 30 April on the Warrior Games blog - see Related Links.