Wounded, injured and sick service personnel welcomed Prince Harry to the recovery centre at Tedworth House on Tuesday. This was all in aid of the Invictus Games, the single biggest international sporting event for wounded soldiers. The Invictus Games will see 400 participants from 13 nations compete at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from the 10-14th September.
Prince Harry was on hand today to wish the guys and girls good luck on their way to the games. Help for Heroes, which works alongside the MOD to bring the event, will launch the first games in a few months time. The games came from a vision that Harry had when he visited the US Warrior games in Colorado last year. He was visiting to wish the British competitors to wish them luck in their endeavours.
It was whilst he was at the US games, the inspiration to bring this sort of competition to the UK transpired. Bryn Parry, co founder of Help for Heroes, said that “with Prince Harry’s help an international competition for wounded servicemen could take place in London next year”. And the rest, as they say, is history, Help for Heroes today is turning that vision in to reality.
During Prince Harry’s visit today he met with over 25 potential competitors who are hoping to take part in the wheelchair rugby, cycling and indoor rowing events and make up just part of the 100 strong British team.
— Invictus Games 2014 (@InvictusLondon) April 29, 2014
The games were officially launched on the 6th March 2014 by Prince Harry at London’s Copper Box arena, which was used as a venue during the 2012 Olympics. Joining Harry in supporting the games are London Mayor Boris Johnson and the London Organising Committee of Olympic and Paralympic Games. One million pounds of funding was donated to the project by the Royal Foundation, a charity established by Harry along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Martin Colclough, Help for Heroes British Armed Forces team manager said, “Help for Heroes has been supporting individuals in sport since 2008, and we are delighted to be training and helping to select the British Armed Forces team, which will be a team to be reckoned with”.
The Invictus games organising committee also today launched the competition schedule.There will be sessions for nine sports across four days for Athletics, Archery, Wheelchair Basketball, Road Cycling, Indoor Rowing, Wheelchair Rugby, Powerlifting, Swimming and Sitting Volleyball. Prince Harry is quoted as saying, “the games will demonstrate the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and demonstrate life beyond disability”.
The games will be being broadcast on the BBC. Tickets for the event will go on sale on 16th May on the Invictus Games website.