Invictus Games

Invictus: Team UK Hopefuls Prepare For Trials

Watch: Sergeant Georgie Smith spoke to Forces News during one of her training sessions.

With less than a week to go until the Invictus Team UK trials get underway, Forces News has been tracking the journey of some of the athletes. 

More than 350 sportsmen and women are expected to compete at the trials in Sheffield on Monday. 

RAF Sergeant Georgie Smith was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years ago. 

However, she has not let the lifelong condition stop her as she has continued her military career and got more involved with sport as a way of trying to stay strong.

Sergeant Smith was named team captain at the Warrior Games in Florida earlier this year and competed in numerous sports including indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting and 100m sprint.

She now hopes her achievements will encourage others who struggle with illness.

She said: "I'm very lucky - I have the military, I have a lifestyle that allows me to have sport, adaptive sport and adventure training at my doorstep.

"For those outside the military, I imagine it's quite hard but there are programmes out there that people can do, I always say to people just "walk your dog"- that's a huge achievement - or "walking your kids to school" [because] you've done something.

"Sport has actually been a bit of a life-saver... sport has kept me focused on something, it keeps me as strong as I can be day-to-day."

Watch: Simon Flores speaks to Forces News.

Simon Flores, who served with the Royal Green Jackets, lost his left foot after being hit by an IED in Iraq in 2006.

The powerlifter said he remembers the incident "like it was yesterday", adding "I knew my foot was blown off because I had it in my hand". 

Flores has also just returned from the Warrior Games and is already hoping to win a place in Team UK's Invictus squad for The Hague 2020.

"I never thought in a million years I'd be doing stuff like this," he said.

"I'm surprising myself every day -  all I do is train."

Watch: Allan Mc Sween trains at the Linford Christie Stadium.

Allan Mc Sween was medically discharged from the Scots Guards after he was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. 

Mc Sween, who has always been a keen sprinter, took a six-year break from the track before getting his spikes back on a couple of years ago.

Buoyed by the success of three record-breaking sprints and three gold medals at the Warrior Games, Mc Sween is looking to build upon his good form in Sheffield.

"I always say to the guys 'you earn your medals in training and you collect them in tournaments'," he said.

"When a doctor sits with you and says 'there's nothing that I can do for you, Allan', it does play on you mentally - not just losing your career but losing the ability to do something you love.

"It did play on me for a good few years until I found sport as a distracting tool... I've reached the stage where I've managed the injury and I've managed to adapt."

Team UK will be hoping to beat the 72 medals they picked up in Sydney 2018 when they travel to the Netherlands next year.