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Two Selected from Shropshire to Compete in Invictus Games

Two Selected from Shropshire to Compete in Invictus Games

2017-05-30 
| by Editor | Posted in Telford News, Telford Sport

Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, has this morning unveiled the team of 90 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.

The 90-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans came together for the first time since selection at the Tower of London. Prince Harry met the team ahead of the forthcoming Invictus Games in September and posed for the first official team photograph.

More hopefuls than ever before, 306 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialled 11 sports for one of the 90 places available on the UK team. The rigorous selection process was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.

The 2017 UK Team Captain was also named this morning as former Army Major Bernie Broad, who takes over the mantel from 2016 Captain, David Wiseman. Bernie lost both his legs below the knee due to injuries sustained in an explosion in Helmand Province in 2009. He underwent four years of extensive surgery and rehabilitation followed by two years of assistance from the Personnel Recovery Unit at Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell.

The team will continue to train in various locations across the country as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team.

Over 60% of this year’s team are new to the Invictus Games and were spurred on to apply off the back of the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014, the success of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando and the day-to-day sports recovery activity that takes place.

The team will compete in 11 sports: Athletics; Archery; Wheelchair Basketball; Cycling; Powerlifting; Indoor Rowing; Wheelchair Rugby; Swimming, Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Tennis and a new sport for 2017, Golf.

There are 7 athletes from the East and 19 athletes from the West Midlands with 4 having been supported directly by Chavasse VC House in Colchester. 

Nick Beighton and Kevin Drake, both from Shropshire have been selected as part of the UK team. 

Army Regular Sergeant Kevin (Charlie) Drake had his leg amputated last year after an injury in January 2013. He has spent the last four years in and out of Headley Court, undergoing a number of operations. 

Charlie has recently undergone further surgery on his stump and is in limbo over medical discharge. Charlie, who lives in Shropshire, said: "Since initially being injured I have lost a lot of self-confidence and I am hoping that being part of the team will boost my confidence again. I am really missing being part of something, and although I’ve joined numerous clubs/groups of the years, I’ve not been able to find the close bond I had whilst still serving.” 

Charlie hopes to compete in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and rowing at the Invictus Games, and afterwards, hopes to find a job that allows him to carry on with his passion for sport. He is also keen on attempting a Help for Heroes challenge in 2018. He is competing in rowing and is a travelling reserve for wheelchair rugby.

The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 will take place from 23 – 30 September. To find out more, go to www.invictusgames2017.com

Image courtesy of MOD: His Royal Highness Prince Harry with members of the UK Invictus Games Team at the Tower of London. © Crown copyright 2017

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