The Invictus spirit
The word Invictus, Latin for ‘unconquered’, captures the fighting spirit of the wounded, injured and sick Service community. The Invictus Games is an Endeavour Fund grantee, embodying their willpower and perseverance to overcome challenges, and the opportunity to conquer new heights. The Invictus Games not only highlighted the individual and teams’ success, but also brought an unprecedented spotlight on the issues and challenges facing wounded veterans.
The opening ceremony of the first Invictus Games was held on 13 September 2014 in London’s Olympic Park. Supported by their families and friends, over 400 hundred Servicemen and women – both serving and veteran, came together from 13 nations to compete in a four-day multi-sport competition. Launched with £250,000 of seed funding from the Endeavour Fund, the Invictus Games is now a successful independent organisation bringing together more than 550 competitors from 17 nations for eight days of fierce competition. It is growing stronger and reaching further than ever and although we no longer oversee its organisation, we are tremendously proud of our initial, founding involvement.
The Endeavour Fund continued to support the British team as they took part in their most successful games to date. The third Invictus Games took place in Toronto, Canada from 23rd to 30th September 2017. All competitors are active duty and veteran Service personnel from participating allied nations who became ill or injured during or as a direct result of their service. The Games are also inclusive with a number of disciplines featuring able-bodied and disabled competitors of both genders competing side by side.
All competitions took place in state-of-the- art sports venues throughout Toronto, and the first ever Invictus Games relay was introduced, which ignited the Invictus Games spirit across all 32 Canadian military bases and neighbouring communities.
2017 participating countries include Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Romania, The Netherlands, New Zealand, UK, USA, Ukraine. The next Games will take place in Sydney in October 2018.
These Games have shone a spotlight on the 'unconquerable' character of servicemen and women, their families and the 'invictus' spirit.
The Invictus Games Foundation has now been established to help ensure the Invictus Games can be hosted in other countries and continue to inspire hundreds of other wounded Service personnel around the world to overcome their injuries through sport.