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UK Team continue to prepare for the Invictus Games

22 April 2016
Former and current Service personnel competing at the Invictus Games in May have stepped up their training at sporting venues across the country as they aim for gold.

In total 110 athletes were selected as the UK team for the second international sporting event which will take place in Orlando May 8-12.

The Invictus Games – of which the patron is Prince Harry – is for wounded, sick and injured Service personnel to compete, post-injury, against their colleagues from 14 countries.

The UK team will compete in ten sports; athletics, archery wheelchair basketball, road cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball, and a new sport for 2016, wheelchair tennis.

Much of the training for powerlifting has been held at St Mary’s University in Twickenham where the athletes have been able to practise in a dedicated sporting environment.

The training has been going really well. I am taking part in six events this year and can’t wait to get out there and see what I can do

Invictus Games athlete, Petty Officer Sean Gaffney

“I will be competing at chest press,” said Royal Navy Petty Officer Sean Gaffney. “As an amputee my leg is capable of taking on my body weight but I wouldn’t be able to squat for example as it wouldn’t be designed to take that weight as well. 

“The training has been going really well. I am taking part in six events this year and can’t wait to get out there and see what I can do. I am very competitive and don’t allow my lower leg amputation to get in the way of my everyday working life in the Royal Navy or my love of sport. Rowing is my strongest sport and I’m also looking forward to the 400m sprint.”

Army veteran and Combined Cadet Force sailing instructor for the Royal Marines Lucinda Allaway has also been training at powerlifting but will also compete in swimming, track, discus and shotput.

“I was always a swimmer while I was serving and I was actually on an Army swim training camp when I initially fell sick,” said Lucinda, who has since been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

“So I did think swimming would be my strongest sport but I am really enjoying powerlifting and also the discus and shot. I am looking forward to the Invictus games and meeting the other athletes, it will be an amazing experience.”

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