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Formby veteran selected for Invictus Games Toronto 2017

Formby veteran selected for Invictus Games Toronto 2017

Former Royal Marine Alex Krol, who lives in Formby, has been chosen to represent

the UK at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.

Alex Krol’s military career ended in 2005 after he was injured in a road traffic accident while on duty. He sustained a spinal injury (T4 Complete) and has no movement or sensation below his chest, resulting in him being a full-time wheelchair user. Having competed in wheelchair tennis at Orlando 2016, Alex has added another sport – rowing – to his repertoire for this year’s Invictus Games.

He says taking part is a vital part of his recovery: “Sport was always a major part of

my life and after my accident I was determined to continue and not let my injury stop

me. I see the Games as being a crucial part in this stage of my recovery. Being

selected for the 2017 UK Team will give me the drive and confidence to pursue my

sport at a competitive level.

” Last week, at a special ceremony at the Tower of London, Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, met the team of 90 wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans.

They were selected from more than 300 military personnel and veterans who attended trials in a total of 11 sports in the hope of making the 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.

Medals will be competed for in Athletics; Archery; Wheelchair Basketball; Cycling; Powerlifting; Indoor Rowing; Wheelchair Rugby; Swimming, Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Tennis and, new for 2017, Golf.

The 2017 UK Team Captain has been named as former Army Major Bernie Broad, who takes over the mantel from 2016 Captain, David Wiseman from York.

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 activities that take place at the Charity’s four Recovery Centres, including Phoenix House in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

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.

Jaguar Land Rover is proud to support the UK team and are presenting partners of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.

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.

The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 will take place from 23 – 30 September. To find

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