A squad of Help for Heroes beneficiaries recently took part in the Annual US Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials. The participants, who were wounded, injured or sick, were special guests at this international sporting event for serving and veteran military personnel.
Held from 27 February to 5 March 2015 at Nellis Air Forces Base, Nevada, the 2015 Trials saw our men and women compete against US counterparts in a variety of sports including sitting volleyball, cycling, swimming and athletics.
The Trials are used to identify which athletes will be selected as members of the US Air Force Warrior Games team and compete against other military branches in the annual Warrior Games later in the year. This year, a UK contingent, supported by Help for Heroes, were invited to attend to give a British contingent of wounded, injured and sick a chance to take part in an International sporting event.
In 2013, Prince Harry visited the Help for Heroes supported UK team at the US Warrior Games and announced his intention to bring a similar event to the UK. In 2014, that dream was released and the inaugural Invictus Games took place in September 2014.
The trip formed one element of Help for Heroes' extensive Sports Recovery programme, recognising the positive impact sport can play in an individual’s recovery.
Martin Colclough, Head of Sports Recovery at Help for Heroes said: “Having supported individuals at both a grass-roots and Paralympic level, we know how important physical activity is for encouraging confidence and independence after a life-changing injury or illness which can often leave servicemen and women feeling as if their world has ended. We were delighted to once again take a UK contingent in such a high profile US event to help demonstrate to all wounded, injured, or sick military personnel that there is life beyond injury.”
The Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials are organised and hosted by the Air Force Wounded Warrior programme which is led by the US Air Force, to ensure its wounded servicemen and women are fully supported after injury.
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and in the past year alone have put on 300 events across 50 different sports enabling over 2,100 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports from grassroots through to performance level.
To find out more about Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Programme, follow @H4H_SR on Twitter.