Prince Harry wins £1m funding in LIBOR bank fines to help stage 'Invictus Games' for injured servicemen and women at the Olympic Park

Chancellor awards funding so Paralympic-style sporting championship can be held

The Chancellor has awarded £1 million in LIBOR bank fines to help Prince Harry stage the first international sporting championship for injured servicemen and women.

More than 300 participants will take part in the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style sporting championship for wounded and sick servicemen personnel, launched by Prince Harry.

The first Games will be held in September at the Copper Box arena in the former Olympic Park, and in venues across London.

Prince Harry said he wanted to stage the event in Britain after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado, an event for injured US service personnel. The competition was “such a good idea by the Americans that it had to be stolen”, he joked.

The Games, which will feature servicemen and women from 13 nations that have fought alongside British troops over the past 15 years.

The BBC will broadcast the five-day event, which will feature eight adaptive sports. The programme includes athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming and sitting volleyball.

Prince Harry, a serving Army officer who wore fatigues at the launch, said: "I have witnessed first-hand how the power of sport can positively impact the lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in their journey of recovery.

"The Invictus Games will focus on what they can achieve post-injury and celebrate their fighting spirit through an inclusive sporting competition that recognises the sacrifice they have made.”

The Games would “have a long-lasting impact” on those who fought for their country, the Prince said.

The Royal Foundation, created by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, will contribute around £1 million for the staging of the Games. George Osborne has agreed to match the Foundation donation with £1 million from the LIBOR fund, levied on banks which manipulated bank lending rates.

The Games organisers said that participation in a sporting event had proven benefits for injured personnel since it gives them a goal to work towards. Unlike the Paralympic Games, families will be invited to join the participants at the Games.

The competing nations include Afghanistan, the US, Australia, Iraq, Germany and Canada and the level of competition will vary from athletes new to adaptive sports to those close to Paralympic level.

The Games venues include the Copper Box, the Aquatic Centre and the VeloPark at the Olympic Park. Track and field disciplines will run at Lee Valley Athletics Centre.

The Prince said the long-term aim of the games, which he hopes will become a regular event, is to ensure servicemen and women - many of whom have lost limbs - are not forgotten by society.

He said: “They see this as opportunity for the next six months to set their minds on a goal to bring themselves back into society when some of them feel now they're disabled, they're pushed aside. They're not - this is so much more.”

Asked how he would reach beyond armed forces families and attract a wider audience, Harry replied: “Let the British public be the deciders of that. The way over the last five or six years the British public has taken to supporting the British forces - the Paralympic Games as well – it’s not about supporting the conflict in Afghanistan, it's not about supporting war, it's not about supporting the forces themselves, but come along show your support, look at the journey these guys have been through.”

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said he hoped the games would satisfy public demand to see the kind of “downright violent sporting activities”, such as Wheelchair Rugby, which proved popular at the 2012 Paralympic Games. He offered the use of the Olympic Park after being assured Prince Harry was not intending to stage an “It’s A Royal Knockout”-style event.

Sir Keith Mills, chair of the Organising Committee, said that whilst it took 10 years to prepare for the 2012 Games, the Invictus Games had been put together inside ten months.

Ticket prices have yet to be set for the Games but space will be reserved for the families of military personnel. The Games could travel abroad in future or become a biannual event, Sir Keith suggested.

The Games, endorsed by David Cameron, are named after William Ernets Henley’s poem, Invictus. Captain David Henson, who lost both his legs below the knee in an IED explosion in Afghanistan and hopes to compete in the Games, said: “Competitive sport has made all the difference to my personal recovery and rehabilitation. For a whole international community of ‘brothers in arms’ who flat out refuse to let themselves be beaten by injuries, the Invictus Games will offer an inspiring experience in their journey of recovery.

“We will prove, as Henley’s famous poem so aptly says: I AM the master of my fate. I AM the captain of my soul.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Extras
indybest
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Accounts Receivable / Accounts Payable Assistant - Central Lond

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Receivable / Accounts Payab...

Account Manager, Spanish, London Bridge

£30,000 + 20K Commssion: Charter Selection: This rapidly expanding organisatio...

.Net/ C# Developer/ Analyst Programmer - West London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .NET/ C# .Pr...

Account Manager, Spanish, London Bridge

£30,000 + 20K Commssion: Charter Selection: This rapidly expanding organisatio...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on