Pictures: Prince Harry calls for public support for Paralympic-style ‘Warrior Games’
12:43 14 March 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Prince Harry has made a plea for public support for a Paralympic-style championship for injured servicemen and women planned for the Olympic Park later this year.
He made the appeal visiting east London yesterday at the newly-reopened Copper Box arena, suggesting the Invictus Games would ensure British solders who have lost limbs would not be forgotten as the involvement in Afghanistan comes to an end.
The Prince put forward the idea for the championship inspired from America’s Warrior Games, which he saw in Colorado last year.
The idea has received government backing with David Cameron describing them as a chance to pay tribute to the sacrifice of wounded troops, while Chancellor George Osborne has announced £1 million to back the project.
Prince Harry, a serving Army officer, was dressed in fatigues and gave a presentation before joining some of the wounded troops in a demonstration of wheelchair volleyball.
He was asked how he would reach beyond Armed Forces families and attract people to the Invictus Games.
“Let the public decide that,” he said. “Over the last five or six years they have supported the Armed Forces and Paralympic Games.
“It’s not about supporting the conflict in Afghanistan or supporting war or the Forces themselves.
“We want to get as many servicemen and women back into society, giving them jobs and making sure all the core values they’ve been taught to make them strong are brought back into the community for the younger generation.”
"It’s not about supporting the Afghanistan conflict or war or the Forces themselves—we want to get servicemen and women back into society"
More than 300 wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, serving and veteran, from 13 nations are to compete in eight adaptive sports in east London in September.
The sports include athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball and a driving challenge.
The September events are being staged in the Olympic Park and the Lee Valley athletics centre, with countries taking part ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq to Germany, Italy and New Zealand.
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