Defence Ministers cheer on formidable Team UK at Invictus Games in The Hague

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Lucy Holt wins a gold medal for Team UK at the Invictus Games in the Womens Indoor Rowing. Photographer: Sgt Jimmy Wise - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace and Minister for Defence People and Veterans Leo Docherty cheered on a successful Team UK at the Invictus Games in The Hague this week.

Attending the Games, which brought together over 500 competitors from 19 nations to compete in a series of adaptive sports, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace watched Team UK beat Canada 24-2 in the wheelchair basketball group stages.

Beth Barrett Head of Operations for Team UK meets the Secretary of State for Defence. Photographer: Sgt Jimmy Wise – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

After the match, the Secretary of State joined Team UK in the training room to congratulate them and hear about their experiences at the week-long Games.

During his visit to The Hague, the Defence Secretary met Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Veteran Affairs Inna Drahanchuk and The Duke of Sussex, the founder of the Games, at a breakfast meeting held on the Invictus Games event site in Zuiderpark, The Hague.

Paul ‘Midge’ Hartley at the Medal ceremony for the Wheelchair Ruby which was attended by the the Duke of Sussex where He presented Team UK with their Silver Medals. Photographer:
Sgt Jimmy Wise – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

Ben Wallace also attended a bilateral meeting with the Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren to discuss NATO’s allied response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and wider threats to European security.

He also attended an event with sponsors of Team UK at the residence of HM Ambassador to the Netherlands.

The Secretary of State also met Mark Clougherty, a Team UK competitor who has won a hattrick of gold medals in the wheelchair sprint at the Games.

During his visit to the Games on Friday 22 April, Minister for Defence People and Veterans Leo Docherty joined the friends and family of Team UK competitors to watch the cycling road race finals.

He was able to attend bilateral meetings with the Netherlands and Ukraine in the Invictus Games park, before attending the wheelchair basketball finals.

Photographer: Sgt Jimmy Wise – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

More than 350 hopefuls trialled nine sports for one of the 59 places available on Team UK and a staggering 90% of the selected team had never competed at an Invictus Games before.

The rigorous selection process for Team UK 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 Hague hosted the fifth Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, from 16-22 April 2022, bringing together over 500 competitors and 1,000 friends and family from 19 nations to compete in a series of adaptive sports across the city in the Netherlands over the course of a week.


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