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13th February 2019

Wounded Veterans Encouraged to Start Recovery Journey in Wales

BY: Nathan Spackman

The Wales-based Captain of the Invictus Games’ Team UK, Mark “Dot” Perkins from Cardiff is encouraging fellow veterans and wounded service personnel, whenever they served, to start improving their physical and mental health and wellbeing at a Help for Heroes sports taster session in Newport.

As the deadline to sign up for the next Invictus Games approaches, Dot will join the charity’s Sports Recovery team at a taster session in Newport, where men and women affected by their military service can learn how Help for Heroes can support them and find out how to become part of Team UK.

The event will provide an insight into recovery and sporting opportunities, plus information on representing Team UK in clubs and potentially competing at the Invictus Games in The Hague 2020.

With just a month to go before the application process for Team UK closes, Dot said, “Going to trials like these changed my life. Making friends with like-minded people got me back into sport after my injury. I would encourage anyone to just come along, see what it’s about and give it a go.

“It’s a very informal day, bring your family and friends, find out what’s on offer for you. The help and support is there. Even if you don’t want to get to Invictus, or you don’t think you’re eligible, sign up, give it a go.  It can be daunting to think about sport again after injury, but I have seen how it’s turned people’s lives around.”

Sports Recovery Coordinator, Nick Vanderpump said, “We know the vital role sports plays in the physical and mental recovery journey for those affected by their military service. Even taking part in low key physical activities with like-minded individuals can have a positive benefit.  Whether the goal is to go all the way to the next Invictus Games, or just improve your general health and wellbeing, we are keen that potential athletes join us in Newport to try out some new activities and meet the Help for Heroes Sports Recovery team.”

The event takes place at Newport International Sports Village Velodrome from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 16th February.  Anyone interested in taking part in the Invictus games must sign up to join Team UK before 9th March at http://h4hweb.com/jointeamuk.

Attendees to the drop-in event can meet sports coaches and other competitors, try some sports and find out more about what training with Team UK could involve.

Following the success of Sydney 2018 and previous Games in Toronto, Florida and London, Help for Heroes, the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion have designed a programme leading up to the next Invictus Games in May 2020.

The programme provides opportunities for individuals to engage with sport at all levels.

This celebration of sport will culminate in the Team UK Invictus Games Trials in Sheffield from 22nd to 26th July 2019, playing host to the national championship for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, as well as being a qualifying event for selection to the Invictus Games 2020.

The event will include archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling on a closed road circuit, swimming, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby at world-class venues in Sheffield.

The games will provide opportunities for up to 500 individuals and their families to use the power of sport, teamwork and competition to significantly accelerate their recovery.

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