This morning, the Invictus Games was officially launched by Prince Harry.
The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, in partnership with the Ministry of Defence, today announced that the ‘Invictus Games’ presented by Jaguar Land Rover, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, will take place in London from 10-14 September 2014.
The event is championed by Prince Harry and will see more than 300 wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, serving and veteran, competing in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, thanks to the Mayor of London. On the programme will be Athletics, Archery, Wheelchair Basketball, Road Cycling, Indoor Rowing, Wheelchair Rugby, Swimming, Sitting Volleyball and a driving challenge. Teams will be invited from the armed forces of 13 nations that have served alongside each other, with relative newcomers to adaptive sport joining advanced athletes in an inclusive programme.
Prince Harry’s Foundation, which he shares with The Duke and Duchess, The Royal Foundation, will contribute a significant grant to the staging of the Invictus Games. The events in September will mark the beginning of a legacy programme to support accessibility of adaptive sports and further employment opportunities for transitioning Servicemen and Women leaving the Armed Forces. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is also supporting this important cause with a £1million donation from the LIBOR fund.
With this strong funding base, the Organising Committee, the Royal Foundation and Ministry of Defence will be working with businesses, organisations and individuals to help secure the remainder of the necessary funds. Today, Jaguar Land Rover is pleased to announce its support. The considerable contribution earns them the recognition of presenting partner of the Invictus Games and extends their commitment to promoting the valuable role of veterans as skilled employees. There will also be a driving challenge as part of the schedule of events for the participants, organised by Jaguar Land Rover.
Competitors and live audiences can look forward to enjoying the occasion in venues made famous by the London 2012 Games. These venues include the Copper Box, the Aquatic Centre and the VeloPark. Track and field disciplines will run at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. The action will also be televised, with the BBC – today confirmed as the official broadcast partner – scheduling live coverage, highlights packages and other programming, including documentaries featuring some of those taking part and the inspirational stories of their journey of recovery.
Captain David Henson, who hopes to compete in September, commented: “Competitive sport has made all the difference to my personal recovery and rehabilitation. For a whole international community of injured ‘brothers in arms’ who flat out refuse to let themselves be beaten by their injuries, the Invictus Games in London will offer a memorable, inspiring and energising experience in their journey of recovery.”
A ceremony will be held to mark the opening involving the competitors and a closing concert is being planned, which will represent another celebration of adaptive sport in the UK, building on the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Organisers are also hoping to give competitors the opportunity to bring family and friends, from around the world, to share the experience.