I am one of 90 armed forces athletes who headed out to the Invictus Games in Toronto to stand proud for my country once more.
For us, the Invictus Games means more than simply competing for glory – it’s the pinnacle of a long journey of recovery and rehabilitation. My journey began in 1996, when in a split second my life changed forever. A tractor turned into my path while I was riding my motorbike, the trailer it was towing rolled over my chest and I was left with catastrophic injuries. I was paralysed from the chest down. I was medically discharged from the Royal Air Force (RAF) and at my lowest point, the RAF Benevolent Fund stepped in to provide furniture and funding for resettlement training. As a previously fit and active member of the RAF regiment, my injuries were devastating. But I found a positive by focussing my recovery around sport, and took up hand cycling, indoor rowing and wheelchair rugby. Again the RAF Benevolent Fund was there for me, this time helping to buy a racing hand cycle which allowed me to race competitively. So when you support the brave men and women who are competing at this year’s Invictus Games, cheer for all those standing behind us; our families and supporters like the RAF Benevolent Fund and other military charities, without whom this would not be possible.
Invictus Games athlete