Exmouth athletes join Team UK for the 2018 Invictus Games in Australia in October

PUBLISHED: 09:37 19 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:37 19 May 2018

Exmouth's Poppy Pawsey has been selected in the 72-strong GB Team for the 108 Invictus Games taking place in Australia.

Exmouth's Poppy Pawsey has been selected in the 72-strong GB Team for the 108 Invictus Games taking place in Australia.

Archant

Exmouth duo Poppy Pawsey and David Watts have been named in a 72-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel and veterans that have been selected to represent the UK at the 2018 Invictus Games, being held in Australia in October.

Exmouth's David Watts, who has been selected in the 72-strong GB Team for the 2018 Invictus Games taking place in Australia.Exmouth's David Watts, who has been selected in the 72-strong GB Team for the 2018 Invictus Games taking place in Australia.

The team were joined for the first official team photograph by former Invictus Games captains and Prime Minister Theresa May. No fewer than 64 per cent of Team UK are brand new to the Invictus Games.

The UK delegation to the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is being delivered by a partnership comprising The Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes, and The Royal British Legion.

The team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 was exclusively unveiled last week at Horse Guards Parade, London.

The team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans came together for the first time since selection at the iconic London venue and were joined by Prime Minister Theresa May who posed with the athletes for the first official team photograph and wished them luck for the Games in October.

For 31-year-old Poppy [Pawsey], the 2018 Invictus Games is about going one step further than before and making constant improvements.

“For me, Invictus Games is all about developing and pushing yourself to achieve goals that you never thought possible. Throughout the Invictus Games 2017 this is what I did - and I achieved more than I ever imagined.”

The former Royal Marines musician, from Exmouth, hopes that the 2018 Invictus Games will help her to lead and guide others on their recovery journey, and inspire them to feel part of something great.

“This year is all about a journey to being a fitter, better, stronger Poppy. Someone who can inspire others to believe that they too can achieve their dreams.

“I have got my strength and smile back and now I want to help others who are in the same position I was in last year. This is the next stage of my journey and it is extremely exciting and positive.”

Swimming and Archery have helped David [Watts] cope with his traumatic experiences from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The former Royal Marine colour sergeant describes swimming as his “safe haven” and he believes being around individuals that are going through the same challenges as he does will not only help in his own recovery, but it may also help them too.

David was medically discharged earlier this year and is using sport to aid his transition to civilian life. His next goal is to compete in an Iron man to, as he says,” prove to myself that I can still do it!!”

David’s injury is permanent, but he recognises the need to look after both his physical and psychological fitness, not just for himself, but also for the sake of his family.

More hopefuls than ever before, 451 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialed 11 sports for one of the 72 places available on Team UK. The trials were attended by HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in one of their last joint appearances before the Royal Wedding.

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 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 2018, Sailing. They will

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

The team were joined for the first official team photograph by former Invictus Games captains and Prime Minister Theresa May. No fewer than 64 per cent of Team UK are brand new to the Invictus Games.

The UK delegation to the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is being delivered by a partnership comprising The Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes, and The Royal British Legion.

Jaguar Land Rover is proud to support Team UK for the fourth time.

More hopefuls than ever before, 451 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialed 11 sports for one of the 72 places available on Team UK. The trials were attended by HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in one of their last joint appearances before the Royal Wedding.

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 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 2018, Sailing. They will

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

Jayne Kavanagh, of Help for Heroes and Chef de Mission for Team UK, said: “Invictus is a powerful demonstration of the dedication these men and women displayed when they served our country. It is a celebration of how they confronted hardship but refused to be defined by injury or illness and they all deserve the chance to proudly serve their country once more. They have the opportunity to not only continue their own recovery, but to inspire others with their resilience, passion, courage and optimism.”

Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson said: “I am delighted that competitors have been chosen to represent the UK at the next Invictus Games and look forward to following their journey from training camps to Sydney. The Invictus Games serve as a powerful reminder of the ability of sport to inspire and support the recovery of wounded and injured troops and veterans.”

The Royal British Legion will be supporting the friends and family, including carers, of Team UK 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 Team UK and are presenting partners of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. 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 Team UK as we did in London, Orlando and Toronto.

“The passion and determination shown on the field is truly inspiring and we wish all of the 2018 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 wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and veterans using sport and adventurous challenges as part of their recovery and rehabilitation, is once again supporting Team UK. It has provided £50,000 funding and has offered opportunities for the non-selected cohort to continue their recovery through sport.

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