Forces Network's Sports Review Of The Year 2017
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Nine Of The Best: The Sports Stories That Moved Us In 2017

It’s been an incredible year for sport in the British Armed Forces. We've been rounding up and reliving some of the sporting highlights of...

Forces Network's Sports Review Of The Year 2017

It's been an incredible year for sport in the British Armed Forces with an electrifying Invictus Games in Toronto, a nail-biting Army-Navy rugby match and countless other sporting clashes between servicemen and women around the world.

We've been rounding up and reliving some of the sporting highlights of the year while looking ahead to 2018.

If you'd like to uncover more sporting nuggets from this year listen to our Sports Plus - Review of the Year below.

 

1. Meribel - The Armed Forces Take To The Alps

 

Meribel

The forces were back on the slopes of Meribel for the Inter-Services Snow Sports Championships in January.

The event saw hundreds of Army, Navy and RAF athletes descending upon the French Alps and competing in alpine skiing, telemarking and snowboarding.

It was the 66th Inter-Services Snow Sports Championships, with this the 11th year Meribel has hosted the tournament.

Meribel

2. Invictus - Toronto Hosts The Biggest Games Yet

 

Sports Review Of The Year 2017 Invictus

The third Invictus Games brought together more than 550 competitors from 17 nations, for eight days of fierce competition.

Competitors took part in 12 adaptive sports including archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby and golf, which was new to the Games.

It was hardly ideal conditions for any of the outdoor sports, however, with temperatures in Toronto reaching upwards of 30°C on some days.

The 2017 competition also introduced the first-ever relay in the history of the Games, igniting the Invictus spirit across 32 Canadian military bases and neighbouring communities.

It was a hugely successful Invictus Games overall for Team UK, who picked up 87 medals in Toronto, including 24 golds.

Highlights include the fairytale ending for the Georgian sitting volleyball team and their British coach, Team UK picking up their first medals at the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge and Mike Myers opening up about the military careers of his parents in the British Armed Forces.

Sports Review Of The Year 2017 Invictus

3. Army Navy Rugby - The Sell-Out Centenary Clash

 

Army Navy Rugby - The Sell-Out Centenary Clash

The 'must-see' match of the year was the Army-Navy rugby clash at Twickenham.

The sell-out game, to decide who would take home the Babcock Trophy, always proves to be a sporting clash like no other.

The match was the 100th meeting between the Army and Navy's players. 

It was in 1907 when the two unions came together to play what has become the world's biggest friendly.

4. Inter-Services T20 Cricket - Army Seal Fifth Consecutive Title

 

This year saw the Army take its fifth successive Inter-Services T20 title at Lord's.

First held in 2005 at the Army Cricket Ground at Aldershot, this is the eighth year that the tournament has been hosted by the MCC at the 'Home of Cricket'.

For all the players, the chance to step out on the hallowed turf and represent their service is seen as a great honour.

Having beaten the RAF in their first match, the Army players saw off a very strong challenge from the Royal Navy, in one of the tightest finishes ever.

The Army's Tade Carmichael won the Man of the Tournament gong for outstanding batting and bowling against the RAF. 

The triangular competition between the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force senior XI sides is fiercely competed and provides fans with the opportunity to watch three games of high-quality Twenty20 cricket in one day.

T20 Cricket

5. Kentish Cup - UKAF Win Three Years In A Row

 

The UK Armed Forces football side won the Kentish Cup for the third time in a row after a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands.

The defending champions only needed a tie to reclaim the silverware in Portsmouth, after beating France 2-1 in the opener a week earlier.

The unity amongst the players and backroom staff was crucial in their defence of their title - and it said it all when a captain from each service lifted the trophy.

Kentish Cup

6. Bobsleigh Glory For Lamin Deen

 

Lamin Deen

British soldier Lamin Deen secured the first major bobsleigh medal of his career at a World Cup race in Canada in November.

The Grenadier Guards lance sergeant claimed silver at the Whistler Sliding Centre in the four-man event, coming very close to grabbing gold.

The performance moves him up to number four in the world rankings, with 546 points.

7. Boxing - John Marvin Sets Sights On Japan 2020

 

John Marvin Boxer

One of the British Army's top boxers, who took gold at the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, is aiming to try his talents on the world stage.

John Marvin, who serves with the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, took top honours competing in the light heavyweight division.

"My ultimate goal is to qualify for the Olympics and become an Olympic gold medallist, but also gaining experience on the Army boxing team."

8. Racing - Dave Birrell Races Belgium's F1 Circuit In A Non-Adapted Car

 

This year saw a Scottish veteran become the first double amputee to race at Belgium's F1 circuit in a non-adapted car.

Dave Birrell lost both his legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2010 - but he hasn't let that stop him.

Dave Birrell

"Seven years on [after my injury]... I'm reaching for a goal that no one ever thought I would reach."

9. Cycling - Ejay Harris Back In The Saddle

 

The British Army Women's Cycling Team has enjoyed another superb season in the saddle, with three riders competing in the National Women's Road Series.

Of the forces athletes to test themselves on the civilian circuit, however, it's been a particularly rewarding year for Captain Ejay Harris.

Just over 12 months ago she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer - but after undergoing successful surgery, she was back in the saddle for the start of the 2017.

She was selected to represent the Great Britain Cycling Team at The Prudential RideLondon Classique in July - less than a year after a collapse at the Tour of Norway in August 2016 led to her diagnosis.

Ejay Harris

Click below, meanwhile, to watch the Forces Sports Show's round-up of its top 20 moments of 2017 - on land, sea and in the air...

Think we've missed anything out? Let us know in the comments section below!

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