The Invictus Games will occur again in September 2020 as a partnership between the Royal Foundation and the Ministry of Defence. The games are a international adaptive sporting event that was established by Prince Harry in 2014. It sees injured, wounded and sick members of the armed services and veterans take place in a number of different sports. These include indoor rowing, seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball alongside many other events. There are a total of nine different events that are carried out over a four day period. Event Medical Cover will be of paramount importance at games like these to ensure everyone’s health and safety. The games are named after the latin word ‘Invictus’ meaning undefeated.
The first games were held in September of 2014 in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London and saw the Prince and the then Prime Minister, David Cameron attend the opening ceremony alongside other members of the Royal family and dignitaries from around the world. The second games were held in May of 2016 and took place at the ESPN Wide World Sports Complex in Florida. Again Prince Harry opened the ceremony alongside Michelle and Barack Obama. In 2017 the games took place in Toronto, in 2018 in Sydney and then next games in 2020 will take place in the Netherlands.
The games have gone some way to helping those injured in the armed services to find something physical that they can excel in and has helped give many of them purpose during some of their darkest moments. Harry’s active service is what spurred him on to create the games and is similar to the US Warrior Games. The event is a celebration of strength and determination. There are a total of 13 different nations that take part in the games with both serving and veteran personnel taking part. Around 400 different individuals take part in the games and come from countries including the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The UK announces their team in the August before the games in the September. In 2018 the makeup of the team was 69 percent army personnel, 23 percent Royal Navy and 8 percent Royal Air Force.
The games not only allow these incredible individuals to access adaptive sports but also provides work for those members of the armed services who through their injuries are unable to continue to see active service. Much of the work needed at the event including the stewarding and planning is undertaken by either current or veteran personnel.