Sport

Prince Harry Visits Invictus Competitors At UK Trials

The Duke took time to speak to relatives and friends of participants at the event in Sheffield.

Prince Harry has visited some of the competitors taking part in the Invictus UK Trials in Sheffield.

The Duke of Sussex, who founded the Invictus Games in 2014, arrived at the English Institute of Sport.

He was welcomed by the teams before joining spectators to watch a medal ceremony.

The Duke chatted to members of the powerlifting team as they waited for their turn to compete, including Jaco Van Biljon.

The former Army engineer recalls speaking to the Duke on an exercise ahead of deployment to Afghanistan: "He was just strolling around camp, and just strolled into the hangar, and we just started talking.

"I can't remember what we spoke about, but it's just interesting meeting him today again. 

"He doesn't remember the face but he remembers the accent!"

Van Biljon says he cannot put into words 'what Invictus has done for him': "It has given me a sense of being a person again.

"The fact that I can do sports, I can actually push myself and I can be a dad again. 

"That's the biggest thing for me, just to see the change for my family, that's what makes me smile."

The Duke chatted to members of the powerlifting team as they waited for their turn to compete.

Earlier in the day, he visited Sheffield Hallam University where virtual reality is being used to make it easier for amputees to train themselves to use prosthetic limbs.

Sheffield is the first city to host the Invictus Trials.

Over the past week, 350 competitors have been battling it out for the right to represent the UK in The Hague, The Netherlands, in 2020.

Prince Harry speaks to Invictus Ambassador Dave Watson.

Invictus ambassador and former competitor Dave Watson said: "It's been brilliant for me, it's got me back doing what I want to do.

"It's not just helped me, it's helped my family. It's the guys in there as well, it's helping their families and helping them, and Prince Harry's a big part of it - he set it all up."

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