The fixture list for the blue ribbon team events at the Invictus Games, published today, reveals who the British Armed Forces team will take on at the international sports event for ‘wounded warriors’. Armed with the knowledge of who they will face on London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the players are more determined than ever to put on a show for the home crowd in the Copper Box Arena.
Invictus is Latin for unconquered, a word that embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. The Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, are a unique chance for the public to celebrate this ‘invictus spirit’ through sporting achievement at venues made famous by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tickets cost £12.85 and are on sale atwww.invictusgames.org
Wheelchair Rugby – Friday 12 September (Copper Box Arena)
On Friday 12 September the British Wheelchair Rugby team take on Denmark in the morning session (8.30-11.30) before resuming their quest for Gold against New Zealand in the final Pool B tie in Session 2. They will be hoping to make the Semi-Final later that session (13.00-16.00) where they will face Australia, Italy or the USA. That would also guarantee them a further match in Session 3 (17.30-21.00) in either the Bronze medal play-off or the Final.
The sport also known as ‘murderball’ is always a crowd pleaser owing to its fast pace and high degree of contact among players. Fans with a seat for the evening session will also see Prince Harry take to the court in the Copper Box Arena in a Celebrity Match. Joining him will be Olympic legends Dame Kelly Holmes and Denise Lewis, singer Example, Zara Tindall and her Rugby World Cup winning husband Mike Tindall. They will do battle under the watchful eye of managers Rugby World Cup winners Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Clive Woodward.
Wheelchair Basketball – Saturday 13 September (Copper Box Arena)
The following day the British Wheelchair Basketball team face Australia in the morning Session (9.00-12.00) ahead of two Pool A deciders vs. France and New Zealand in Session 2 (13.30-16.30). Session 3 (18.00-21.00) awaits for the Semi-Finalists which could see Britain go head-to-head with any of their Pool B counterparts: Denmark, Germany, Italy or the USA. All will have their sights on reaching the Final, with the match to decide Gold and Silver, along with the Bronze medal play-off, taking place later that night.
Wheelchair Basketball was first played in the US, when American soldiers injured during World War II met on a court at a rehabilitation hospital and adapted the running game to continue their enjoyment in sport. One of the few sports to have been present at all editions of the Paralympic Games, today Wheelchair Basketball is the most played adaptive sport in the world. It retains most major rules of conventional basketball with the same court dimensions and 10-ft hoops promising high-scoring action. Every two touches on the wheelchair, players must bounce, pass or shoot the ball; each team of five has 24-seconds during which to throw it towards the hoop.
Sitting Volleyball – Sunday 14 September (Copper Box Arena)
Like other nations, the British Sitting Volleyball team must first get past the preliminary rounds to make it to the Copper Box Arena. Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands lie in wait in the crucial qualifying matches but with the sport one of the most dynamic in the Paralympic programme, supporters are hedging their bets and buying tickets for Session 1 (8.30-11.30) which features the sudden-death Semi-Finals and Session 2 (13.00-16.00) which will determine who wins Gold, Silver and Bronze.
The Invictus Games are being organised with the support and backing of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence. More than 400 wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, serving and veteran and from 13 nations, will compete in nine adaptive sports. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre will host the events thanks to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, DCMS and Sport England.