June 20,2014(ISN) – More than 300 members of the British Armed Forces will act as volunteers at the inaugural Invictus Games later this year, where they will be assisting teams from participating nations and undertaking stewarding duties.
Some of the servicemen and women volunteering will be from the same military units as many of those competing at the Games, which are due to take place across a number of venues at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from September 10 to 14.
London 2012 legacy charity, Join In, will select Games Makers from the Olympics and Paralympics to help train the volunteers and share their experience of being part of a multi-sport event.
“London 2012 was an amazing experience for all of us,” said Rebecca Birkbeck, chief executive of Join In, which was formed in April 2012 and aims to put more volunteers into community sport and physical activity.
“As part of the ongoing legacy of the Games, Join In is proud to be able to share the experience of the Games Makers, and contribute to the future success of the Invictus Games.”
Charity SportsAid will also be providing some volunteers, while the remainder of the voluntary workforce will be provided by Games partners Jaguar Land Rover and official supporters BT, PwC and YESSS Electrical.
These volunteers will take on roles including meeting and greeting spectators, giving directions and assisting with transport.
Games Makers from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics will help train the 300 volunteers from the Armed Forces ©AFP/Getty Images
“The support of Armed Forces personnel during the Invictus Games will help ensure the smooth running of the Invictus Games as well as provide a real boost for their fellow comrades who will be competing,” said chairman of the Invictus Games Organising Committee, Sir Keith Mills, who was former deputy chairman of London 2012.
“We are also thrilled that some of the Games Makers will be passing on their knowledge and expertise to our Invictus Games volunteers.”
Championed by Prince Harry and supported by the Ministry of Defence and The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Invictus Games aim to provide sick, injured and wounded service personnel the opportunity to compete in high-level competitive sport to help inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country.
The Invictus Games will see injured and wounded military personnel from 14 countries taking part in competition at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park ©Getty Images
Around 400 athletes from 14 countries are expected to take part in the event and will compete in nine adaptive sports – athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming and sitting volleyball.
Organisers have invited teams from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Georgia, Iraq, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States to take part.
The British Armed Forces team will consist of 100 competitors – both serving and veteran – from the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force.