Invictus Games

Invictus Games 2020: Team UK Announced For Competition In The Hague

A team of 65 wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans has been selected.

The Team UK squad for the Invictus Games 2020 has been announced.

Sixty-five wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel and veterans have been selected for the Games at the Hague, May 2020.

More than 350 people trialed in nine sports for the places, with 89% of the team having never competed before.

They joined The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, at the Honourable Artillery Company for their first official team photograph.

The Duke spent time chatting to competitors and finding out more about their personal journeys.

During an informal chat with the competitors the royal, who spent 10 years as an Army officer, said: "This is an opportunity for you guys to be serving your country again."

He explained their influence would have a profound effect on many: "It's a really important point to know as well, never underestimate the impact you guys are having on everybody else," with feedback following previous Invictus Games revealing people were "genuinely inspired" by their story.

Invictus Team Launch
Prince Harry featured in the team photo (Picture: MOD).

Team UK will compete in athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming and sitting volleyball.

Team UK captain for the 2020 competition, Rachel Williamson, who was also part of the 2018 squad,  told Forces News she is "truly honoured" to be taking on the role.

"I knew that if I went for a second time that I would have to go for the opportunity as one of the captaincy roles," she said.

"[The Invictus Games are] very important, its a life-changing occasion and even for someone who has lost their socialisation, they've lost that friendship, this is just one of those amazing recovery tools.

"It turns people's lives around, it really does."

Johnny Mercer, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, was also in attendance at the photocall. 

He says more must be done to cover the gaps in support for all those who've served: "I want us to get to a place in this country where we havea  world-class offering to all of our veterans, whether they are involved with Invictus or not.

"We need to do more to come together to make sure that people don't fall through the net and that opportunities are equally spread across the country."

Training will take place across the country as part of Help for Heroes' Sports Recovery programme.

Hannah Lawton, from Help for Heroes and Chef de Mission for Team UK, said: "Our competitors are proudly serving their country again and showing that they will not let their injury or illness define them."