Johnny Mercer praises wounded veterans competing at Veteran Games

Watch: MP Johnny Mercer visits veterans competing at the Veterans' Games in Tel Aviv.

Veterans from the UK and Israel have gathered in Tel Aviv for the third annual Veteran Games, a multi-sport friendly competition between British and Israeli veterans. 

The five-day sports competition brings together wounded, sick and injured veterans from the UK and Israel to compete in events in swimming, shooting and CrossFit.

This year, 60 British athletes have travelled to Tel Aviv to compete against their Israeli counterparts.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Johnny Mercer, an ex-Army Captain who is in Israel on a state visit, was present at the event on the first day of competition where he presented medals to some athletes. 

He said: "Sport is like the number one recovery vehicle that you can have, so to see veterans coming out here from the UK with their families and with wounded veterans from Israel and basically doing the sport but it's not selective sport but then participating in all these events, it's changing lives.

"You could speak to any of these people about how happy they are and how much it means for them to be here. It's an incredible project and it's a real privilege to visit. 

"For some, it's their first time and, understandably, they were a bit apprehensive coming but, total converts, some of them tell me today was the best day of their life and you can't beat that."

Mercer gave advice to wounded veterans who may be considering training and giving the Veterans' Games a go in the future.

"Get stuck in, just go for it, the more you put in the more you get out," he said. 

"It's an amazing enterprise and just throw yourself at it, you will never regret it."

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