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RAF veteran selected as part of Invictus Games team

By Jordan Reynolds | Stone | News | Published:

A Staffordshire veteran has been selected to represent Team UK at the Invictus Games The Hague 2020.

Antony Morris

Antony Morris, 42, joined his teammates for the first time at the Honourable Artillery Company in London on Tuesday.

The athletes – 89 per cent of whom have never taken part in an Invictus Games before - will now undergo training camps delivered by Help for Heroes to ensure they are best prepared for the international sporting competition next year.

Former RAF Squadron Leader Antony, from Stone, was medically discharged in January of this year due to health issues.

He suffered a multiple fracture of his head of humerus during a military training exercise in 2013.

Since his injury and subsequent diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), he has struggled with work, socialising and spending quality time with his family as a father of two.

The team

He said: “Both physical and mental exertion left me exhausted, in pain and unable to concentrate on anything. Despite this I’m determined to prove I can ‘still win’ and I not to let CFS hold me back.

"Taking part in the Invictus UK Trials in Sheffield back in July really Inspired and motivated me; I’ve already started to experience the benefits.

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"I leave the house and meet new people on a regular basis, as well as building an online support network of other competitors.

"I've also signed up to the Help for Heroes fellowship. I’m pushing myself harder, even managing to support my youngest riding a bike which would have been almost impossible a year ago. My family have already noticed a difference."

One such family member is brother Davis Morris from Sleaford in Leicestershire. Antony signed David up for the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney. After a successful Games Dave is now back as Team UK’s vice-Captain.

Antony added:“Being part of Team UK will enable me to rediscover who I am; to focus on what I can actually do and opposed to what I can't. It will challenge myself and others to achieve our best. I’m hoping that it will help with my feelings of isolation, mixing again with other like-minded people for mutual support.

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"As well as helping my family gain the support they need too. At the end of the Trials, my wife looked at me with a love and pride I haven’t seen for years. My children were delighted to see Dad doing something active again; my eldest even wants to train with me now! This new journey is for all four of us and the Invictus Games are just the beginning.”

More than 350 military personnel and veterans trialed nine sports for one of the 65 places available on Team UK. 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.

The team will compete in nine sports: Athletics; Archery; Wheelchair Basketball; Cycling; Powerlifting; Indoor Rowing; Wheelchair Rugby; Swimming and Sitting Volleyball. They will continue to train from now until May in various locations across the country as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team. Antony will be competing in athletics, rowing and powerlifting.

Invictus UK is delivered by a partnership comprising Help for Heroes, The Ministry of Defence, and The Royal British Legion.

To get support from Help for Heroes visit helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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