The 2016 Invictus Games buzz began in earnest at the first UK trials and selection event held at Bath University last weekend.
British serving and veteran servicemen and women hoping to take part in the international games in Orlando, Florida, in May, will be competing for one of 100 places on the UK team.
HRH Prince Harry, whose dream it was to create the Invictus Games, dropped in to the meet the hopefuls on Friday 29 January, greeting competitors and asking their stories. He addressed the troops and thanked them for making the games possible.
Sporting events including Track and Field, Powerlifting, Wheelchair Tennis, Sitting Volleyball, Rowing, Swimming, Wheelchair Rugby, Cycling, Archery and Wheelchair Basketball will see the troops, some amputees and some with unseen injuries, giving it their all.
Selection is based on the benefits the games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training. Games partner charity Help for Heroes is leading work to train and develop the competitors.
The UK team announcement will be made on 6 April.
The Invictus Games support recovery and rehabilitation because taking part in sport helps with self-confidence and feeling psychologically empowered. These mental health benefits can be translated outside of sport and into everyday life.
More than 500 athletes from 15 countries will gather in Orlando, Florida, for the second Invictus Games, including 100 from the UK.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “I wish all those taking part in the trials the best of luck. Having made great sacrifices while protecting their country, they are rising to a new challenge with strength and determination.
“The Invictus Games will provide inspiration and opportunity and will demonstrate the importance of sport in the recovery process.”
The inaugural 2014 Invictus Games saw 400 competitors from 13 nations around the world compete in nine sports in five venues during four days of intense sporting action. A spectacular Opening Ceremony saw an audience of 5,000 enjoy a fly past from The Red Arrows, displays by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Queen’s Colour Squadron as well as performances from bands of the Royal Marines, Army and RAF.
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