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VX-3 News (13)

News from the VX-3 family

Prince Harry Unveils Invictus Kit 2017

Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, this morning unveiled the team of 90 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.

The 90-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans came together for the first time since selection at the Tower of London. Prince Harry met the team ahead of the forthcoming Invictus Games in September, and posed for the first official team photograph.

More hopefuls than ever before, 306 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialed 11 sports for one of the 90 places available on the UK team. The rigorous selection process was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.

The 2017 UK Team Captain was also named this morning as former Army Major Bernie Broad, who takes over the mantel from 2016 Captain, David Wiseman. Bernie lost both his legs below the knee due to injuries sustained in an explosion in Helmand Province in 2009. He underwent four years of extensive surgery and rehabilitation followed by two years of assistance from the Personnel Recovery Unit at Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell.

He said: “Since being medically retired from the Armed Forces in 2014, I feel that I have taken my foot off the gas and become quite complacent. I have always been a keen and competitive sportsman, so I kick started my fitness regime and now regularly swim, cycle and walk. I am looking forward to taking part in the Invictus Games as I see this involvement as a way to re-focus me physically and mentally and to re-engage in a full, active, competitive and fulfilling life.”

On being chosen as UK Team Captain, he added: “The Invictus Games are empowering and inspire all of us as competitors to be the best version of ourselves. It allows us to be judged on what we can achieve, rather than what we can’t. To simply be selected for the UK Team was an amazing achievement. To then be further selected as the UK Team Captain filled me with such immense pride and it is a huge privilege to be given this honour. I definitely stood taller and my chest expanded quite a bit!”

The team will continue to train in various locations across the country as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team.

Over 60% of this year’s team are new to the Invictus Games and were spurred on to apply off the back of the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014, the success of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando and the day-to-day sports recovery activity that takes place.

The team will compete in 11 sports: Athletics; Archery; Wheelchair Basketball; Cycling; Powerlifting; Indoor Rowing; Wheelchair Rugby; Swimming, Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Tennis and a new sport for 2017, Golf.

Jayne Kavanagh, of Help for Heroes and Chef de Mission for the UK Team, said: “With more hopefuls than ever before applying to be a part of the Invictus Games in Toronto, and with more than 60% of the 2017 UK Team being brand new to the Games, it is evident that the legacy of 2014 and 2016 is strong. In the UK team, we have 90 individuals who have displayed high levels of passion, teamwork and commitment to using sport as a tool of recovery both during and beyond the Invictus Games. We are very proud to be working alongside them and wish them the best of luck as they embark on their Invictus Games journeys.”

The Royal British Legion will be supporting the friends and family, including carers, of the UK team as part of its work to recognise the vital and valuable contribution that they make to the recovery of WIS Service personnel and veterans.

The Legion’s Director General, Charles Byrne said: “The Legion is proud to be supporting the friends and family of the UK team athletes at the Invictus Games 2017. We know how important the support of friends and family is to the team, both in their performance and recovery, so their involvement in the games is key. The Legion is co-ordinating travel, accommodation and tickets for family and friends to attend the games in Toronto, to ensure that every athlete can enjoy the support of their loved ones. We will also be providing support to friends and family in the UK in preparation for the games, as well as out in Toronto.”

Jaguar Land Rover is proud to support the UK team and are presenting partners of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017. Jeremy Hicks, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover UK said: “When we first partnered with the Invictus Games in 2014, we knew its vision would be a perfect match for the values of Jaguar Land Rover and we are incredibly proud to be continuing our role as presenting partner of the games this year, in addition to sponsoring the UK Team as we did in London and Orlando.

“The passion and determination shown on the field is truly inspiring and we’re delighted that Jaguar Land Rover employee Pa Njie will be representing us in Toronto this September. We wish him and all of the 2017 competitors the best on this exciting journey.”

The Endeavour Fund, a programme led by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry which supports WIS Service personnel and veterans using sport and adventurous challenges as part of their recovery and rehabilitation, is once again supporting the UK team. It has provided £50,000 funding to support the 2017 UK team.

Harry Holt, Chairman of the Endeavour Fund adds: “At the Endeavour Fund we know just how much getting involved in sport can help someone with their recovery and rehabilitation. We are continuing to work hard to ensure that wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women who are hardest to reach can benefit from being involved with an endeavour. So we were thrilled to hear that over 60% of this year’s UK team are new to the Invictus Games. They should all be hugely proud of what they have achieved so far and we wish them the best of luck for Invictus Games in Toronto.”

Source: Invictus Games Foundation

2017 National Bowl Final

Congratulations to Amman United for winning the WRU National Bowl Final

Captain Sean Mangan was “immensely proud” after Amman United beat Caerphilly in a thrilling WRU National Bowl Final at the Principality Stadium

Much of the pre-match build-up centred around the inclusion in the Amman side of Wales’ all-time record try-scorer Shane Williams.

And the 40-year-old certainly didn’t disappoint as he scored a try and directly assisted another two to help his village side win the trophy.

“It’s something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life,” said proud skipper and No.8 Mangan.

“It was the toughest game we’ve had this year – just the physically of it – but we stood up and I’m immensely proud of the boys.

“We just kept going and dug it out and finished it off in the end.”

It took Williams nine minutes to make his mark on the occasion.

Foster kicked a penalty on 26 minutes to pull the score back to 14-10 before Williams turned provider for brother-in-law Lewis on 33 minutes as Amman went back in front 15-14 although this time the conversion was missed.

A topsy-turvy half took another twist three minutes before the break when wing Gareth Dare ran from halfway to score, with Hurley converting, before moments later Williams laid on another try for lock Shaun Cadell. Foster missed the conversion as Caerphilly led 21-20 at the break.

Foster and Hurley traded penalties after the break, with another two kicks from Foster edging Amman 29-24 in front.

But, back came Caerphilly, with Matthew Nuthall going over on 63 minutes after good work from Hurley and Thomas, with Hurley converting before Foster booted his fifth penalty moments later to make it 32-31.

Another Foster penalty made it 35-31 before lock Chris Rees all but sealed the win four minutes from time, unconverted, to make it 40-31 and Lewis had the final say with a penalty in front of the posts with the last kick that sparked wild Amman celebrations.

Source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-match-reports/shane-williams-scores-amman-united-12901570

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2017 National Plate Final

Replacement Max George went over in the last minute to snatch a dramatic WRU National Plate Final victory for Penallta on try count against 14-man Ystalyfera at the Principality Stadium. It was Penallta’s second win in the competition following up on their 2012 success while also helped erase the memory of their crushing defeat to Bedlinog in last year’s final, which they lost with the last kick of the match.

It was a mammoth effort from Ystalyfera, who were forced to play much of the contest a man short after flanker Jesse Patton was shown a red card for a headbutt on 22 minutes. But, when full-back Steffan Castle landed his second penalty with seven minutes to play to put Ystalyfera 16-11 up, they were in dreamland – before being cruelly denied.

“We know what it’s like to lose in the last minute so we feel for Ystalyfera,” said Penallta head coach Matthew Tucker.

Meanwhile Ystalyfera player-coach Gareth James said: “I’m proud of the boys, but gutted because we’ve lost in the last minute.

“But we’ve got to hold our heads up high. We were massive underdogs and I feel we came out of that well today, especially going down to 14 men so early in the game, with a real good performance and we take that with us and we’ll grow from that.”

 “But I’m proud of the boys because they gave their all. When you go down to 14 men it’s always going to be tough but if anything it pulled us together and we gave them a good game right to the bitter end.”


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