The Invictus Games was first launched in London. Ever since the 2014 competition, the event has grown year on year. Countries, competitors and supporters travel from all around the world to represent their nation. The first Games saw 400 competitors from 13 countries battle over four days in front of thousands of fans at the London Olympic Park.
Saturday the 23rd September sees the third Games opening ceremony in Toronto, Canada. Here we will see athletes compete over eight days of fierce competition, bringing together more than 550 competitors from 17 nations. Ukraine and Romania will be making their debut at the Invictus Games and will be hoping to have an instant impact on the medal standings.
Not all military personnel are physically injured, some came back from serving with invisible wounds. Adaptive sporting action will take place in the form of archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby and golf.
What makes the Invictus Games so inspiring is its ability to save lives. Through the use of adaptive sports, it is giving the men and women who proudly represented their countries in the military a purpose and a mission once again. Not only does playing sport encourage you to push yourself ones again, it is helping to transform the physical and mental health for many of the injured personnel.
Once leaving the military, many feel that they have lost their sense of belonging. The Games allows participants to join a sports team and represent their countries once again with their brothers and sisters in arms. Therefore, participating in the event has the potential to have a significant effect on the service men and women’s road to recovery. Making the Invictus Games a type of therapy for these individuals. No matter if you served or not, you can’t help but be inspired by what you are about to witnesses in the fields, track, pool and courts.
In the UK the coverage will be shown on the BBC. Once again the organisation has gained the rights to present the footage from Toronto. A hour-long highlights program will be screened daily on the BBC giving you an update on the day’s action. Back-stage clips and extra footage will also be shown on the WeAreInvictus social media channels.
In an event where participants deserve the full force of the crowds support, little is being done to get the message out there. The question is how do we build collaboration from the media to produce more awareness on the athlete and their stories rather than the Foundation. Throughout the lead-up to the Toronto Games coverage as hardly made headlines around the world, leading to their being a shortage of tickets sold to some events.
One of the biggest and best tools to spread the word around the Toronto Games will be social media. Whether this is fans photos, live streams or even photos with competitors. The more content that is produced and spread will only gain awareness to the events and results.
The Invictus Games will attract people from all around the world to watch in the crowd. Whether they are serving or retired military, the public, celebrities, government officials or Royal Family members it’s important that at the foremost all of the attention of the spectators is on the military veterans and serving members who are showing sheer courage, camaraderie and focus in the hope of winning a medal for their countries.