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RN Invictus Games hopes rest on the shoulder of a dozen determined men and women

15 May 2018
Twelve serving and former Royal Navy personnel will represent the Navy – and nation – in Sydney, part of a 72-strong UK team attending the fourth Invictus Games.

Premier Theresa May greeted the team of wounded, injured and sick serving military personnel and veterans – whittled down from 451 hopefuls – in Horse Guards Parade.

Two thirds of the team are Invictus newcomers having come through a lengthy selection and trials process, taking on soldiers, sailors and airmen from 16 other nations in late October across 11 sports.

The RN will be represented by a mix of sailors, commandos and musicians, among them green beret Alex Moulder who left the Corps in 2007 but has struggled with a number of mental health challenges since.

The 37-year-old from Bristol credits sport with filling a void – and giving him new goals in life.

“The Invictus Games has given me that empowerment and that hope,” he said. “I have found a passion and a focus, and I am determined to succeed. I want to be the best I can and can now see a future ahead. I can finally start seeing me.”

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and with the help of Invictus I can complete this journey.

Lt Cdr Emma McCormick

Joining him on the 10,500-mile flight to Australia will be Lt Cdr Emma McCormick from Navy Headquarters on Whale Island who’s recovering from a freak horse riding accident.

Sport and the chance for Invictus glory have given her the opportunity, she says, to walk tall again.

“Gone is the woman who refused to take part in team sports for fear of someone touching her leg. Gone is the woman who couldn’t look at or touch her own leg. I only managed to free myself of these shackles when I started to undertake sport,” said the 36-year-old media officer from Clanfield in Hampshire.

“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and with the help of Invictus I can complete this journey.”

The team will compete in 11 sports: athletics; archery; wheelchair basketball; cycling; powerlifting; indoor rowing; wheelchair rugby; swimming, sitting volleyball; wheelchair tennis; and, new to the 2018 games, sailing.

The squad will continue to train from now until October in various locations across the country as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team, spurred on by captain Mark ‘Dot’ Perkins.

“There are few moments in one's life when an event occurs that truly transforms your life, the Invictus Games is it,” said the former lance corporal.

“In the games our scars are like medals which we can proudly display rather than hide in shame or embarrassment. Invictus allows us to be judged on what we can achieve, rather than what we can’t.”

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