The eyes of the world fell on the UK this month, not only for the much publicised Scottish referendum, but for the meeting of 400 competitors from across the world.
They came from 14 nations to compete in 9 separate adaptive sports, at an international sporting event specifically designed for servicemen and women who have been wounded in the line of duty. It took place across five venues, including those used in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
These comrades who gave it all to do their job, came and played at the first Invictus Games, which proved to be an extraordinarily memorable experience. The event was supported by the Royal Family, especially Prince Harry, who was heavily involved with the running of the show.
Connect with the public
It was hoped that the Invictus Games would inspire and encourage those that have to live with the struggle of their injury every day, as well as generate a bigger understanding from the general public. And this status was definitely achieved during the various sports on offer.
“Sport has really helped me improve my confidence post injury and the sense of freedom I get from it is second to none,” said Lance Corporal Jonathon (Frenchie) Le Galloudec.
With so many attendees expected at the games, large numbers of organisations across the UK were interested in getting involved, for the opportunity to be present and cater for a wide variety of the visitors’ professional and personal needs.
The event was not only an opportunity for the UK economy, but for the country to showcase its natural beauty and heritage. And most importantly, to show the world that we support our troops, who work every day to defend our country.
“Prince Philip and I send our heartfelt congratulations to the organisers and the supporters of this competition and most importantly to you men and women of the armed forces who have overcome great adversity just to take part in these Games,” the Queen said in a letter, read out by her grandson Prince Harry.
“As I have followed the competition over the past four days, I have been deeply moved by your courage, determination and talent,” she continued. “All of you have used the power of sport to enhance your own recovery and to raise wider awareness of the enormous challenges faced by wounded veterans.”
The nine sports featured themselves in the Invictus Games were all adapted. Some of the most impressive were:
- Sitting volleyball
- Wheelchair rugby
And many more featured over the four days of competition, with a team of 130-strong Brits all battling for a gold medal.
In all, 400 competitors arrived – from countries such as USA, New Zealand and throughout Europe. All were ready to take part in the track and field events on offer, as well as specialised disciplines such as indoor rowing.
The atmosphere was electric, and spirits were high as the games kicked off with an opening ceremony attended by 5,000, but it couldn’t beat the big finale!
To close the games there was the ultimate concert, with sets from the Kaiser Chiefs, Ellie Goulding and The Vamps. Legendary rockers Foo Fighters finished the whole thing off with an astounding hour long set.
Support from local business
With such an influx of visitors, all sorts of services had to be drafted in to ensure that needs were promptly met. Some 600 volunteers were on hand to help make sure that the games ran smoothly from start to finish, as well as helping the competitors navigate their way round and organising their friends and family.
A large number of big and small local business got into the spirit of the games and offered their services. Jaguar Land Rover were amongst the larger companies, and allowed their employees to work as volunteers for the day.
“The company has been inspired by the vision for the Invictus Games, and we wanted to give some of our colleagues the chance to help deliver them,” says Simon Lenton, HR Director of Jaguar Land Rover.
With so many people from so many countries, who speak so many different languages involved in the Games’ busy agenda, communication was key and one company that helped to ensure that ran smoothly was photocopier supply company, Copylogic.
A spokesperson for the company said, “We supply printers for all sorts of prestigious, ad-hoc events and were delighted to be involved in helping this one run smoothly. We installed 30 multi-function photocopiers in a number of locations to help NATO co-ordinate their communications.”
It’s clear that all of the parties involved in this year’s Invictus Games played an important role in what David Cameron has described as “a real institution and a huge achievement”. He commented that other countries were also keen to host their own Invictus Games in the future.
To find out more about sourcing a printer for a short-term event or long-term business lease, contact the UK’s print equipment experts at Copylogic.