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Naval Personnel Chosen for Invictus Games 2020

Naval Personnel Chosen for Invictus Games 2020
29 October 2019
Seven serving and former sailors and Royal Marines are among the 65-strong UK team selected for the Invictus Games in The Hague next May.

The wounded, injured and sick personnel will compete in nine sports: athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, and sitting volleyball.

As the team was announced, they posed for photographs with the Duke of Sussex, patron of the Invictus Games Foundation.

The team includes:

  •  Pete Dunning - 33, Royal Marines veteran, who lost both of his legs when the vehicle he was travelling in struck an IED in Afghanistan.

“Being a part of the UK Invictus games team would really help me with enhancing my confidence and would also allow me to feel good about myself again,” said Pete, who will compete in athletics, indoor rowing and wheelchair rugby.

  • Lt Richard Gray - will take part in cycling and swimming events, who has suffered from an ongoing shoulder injury as well as cancer.

The 39-year-old said: “To have my children see me wearing the Invictus team colours with all that they represent will prove to them that daddy is the master of his destiny.”

  • Lance Corporal Paul Gray - former Royal Marines, who left the service after being diagnosed with the chronic rheumatic disease Ankylosing Spondylitis, is competing in the wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
  • Russell Hunt - former Leading Hand, 33, will compete in cycling, indoor rowing and wheelchair rugby.
  • Stuart Padley - Aircraft handler, 30, who will compete in indoor rowing, suffered a stroke in 2018, which left him with mobility problems and language impairment.
  • Lt Cdr James Rogers - who suffers from a chronic form of arthritis, will compete in cycling, swimming and wheelchair basketball.

The 33-year-old submariner says since starting his Invictus training, he has seen progress in his overall health.

  • Leading Hand Nigel White - who suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis, will take part in archery, athletics, cycling, indoor rowing and powerlifting.
  •  Jonathan Plat - Royal Navy veterant, 37, is among the non-travelling reserves for the Invictus Games, which have previously been held in London, Orlando, Toronto and Sydney.
Taking part in the Invictus Games will enable me to move forward with my recovery and be part of a team with similar challenges. I have found that focusing on sports has helped immensely with my mental well-being and fitness. It has made me more determined than ever to carry on with the Invictus journey.

Aircraft handler Stuart Padley

More than 350 hopefuls trailed nine sports for one of the 65 places available on Team UK and 89 per cent of the selected team have never competed at an Invictus Games before.

Team UK will be skippered by its first female captain, RAF Veteran Rachel Williamson.

Invictus UK is delivered by a partnership between Help for Heroes, the Ministry of Defence and The Royal British Legion.

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