Invictus Games

 History of the Invictus Games

The competition was founded by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. When he attended the Warrior Games in Colorado (USA) in 2013, the Prince saw first-hand how the power of sport can support veterans at all levels and expressed his desire to create a similar sports event in the United Kingdom. 

The organization was supported by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Ministry of Defense, and took more than 10 ten months to assemble.

The first Games were held in London in 2014.  During his speech at the opening, HRH said that the Invictus Games would demonstrate the power of sport to support recovery and rehabilitation, to show the limitless possibilities of people with disabilities, turning them into athletes, competitors and teammates. The competition was attended by 300 participants from13 countries that have fought on the side of the UK in recent military campaigns. These included the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, and Afghanistan.

The primary aims of the Invictus Games, using the power of sport are:

- to inspire and support war veterans and their families;

- to speed up the process of recovery from injuries and wounds;

- to accelerate physical and psychological rehabilitation; and,

- to create a powerful international veteran community.


 Ukraine at the Invictus Games

Ukraine was invited to the Invictus Games in 2017, when the Games were held in Toronto, Canada. Since then, Ukraine has already achieved the following:

- 8 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals (Toronto, Canada, 2017); and,

- 7 gold, 10 silver and 3 bronze medals (Sydney, Australia, 2018).

According to the results of the Invictus Games which were held in The Hague (Netherlands) from April 16 to 22, 2022, the Ukrainian national team won 16 medals.

Over the three years of its existence in Ukraine, the Invictus Games have moved far beyond the sports world and have become a powerful driving force for the promotion of sports as an effective means of rehabilitation for Ukrainian servicemen and women and war veterans.

During the Invictus Games which took place from February 14-21, 2020, the American team visited the Ukrainian national team and presented the team with 10 wheelchairs for playing basketball. Also, adaptive sports trainings were held in the following areas: sitting cycling; adaptive rowing on a simulator; wheelchair running; running on prostheses; sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball.

As a result of productive work; and, exchanges of experience. The Ukraine team formed the first ever veteran wheelchair basketball team in the history of the country, which competed in The Hague in 2022.


Next stage - Invictus Games 2023

By accepting the invitation of the Invictus Games organizing committee, the Ministry of Veterans' Affairs announced the readiness of the National Team of Ukraine to participate in international sports competitions in Dusseldorf in September 2023, having signed the Code of Conduct for participating countries on October 6, 2022.

As part of the Invictus Games, the process of preparing for the all-Ukrainian selection of candidates for the National Team of Ukraine, which will be held in 9 disciplines, has begun in the following areas:

- athletics (running, long jump and shot put);

- archery;

- swimming;

- powerlifting;

- rowing on simulators;

- road cycling (bicycles and handbikes);

-table tennis;

- sitting volleyball; and,

- wheelchair basketball.

The following is the selection criteria for the Ukrainian National Team at the 2023 Invictus Games in Düsseldorf:

- rehabilitation effect of participation in the Invictus Games (40%);

- approach to training, dedication, discipline and responsibility for the result (25%);

- sports ethics (25%); and,

- sports results (10%).

The potential impact of the Games on the rehabilitation of participants plays a key role in the updated selection criteria. Other important factors include the participants' motivation, attitude towards sport, sports results and teamwork.

The national delegation consists of 94 people, including: 24 athletes; 48 accompanying personnel; 10 coaches; and, 11 team members.

New sports are constantly being added to the competition program. Based on this, we understand that expanding the coaching staff is needed, most of whom will be veterans. Most desirable will be individuals who have previously been members of national teams and have experienced the positive effect of sports, including soldiers who have decided to continue to improve their skills and share their experience with their comrades.

This approach will ensure not only physical but also psychological rehabilitation. Moreover, it will help to spread the program across the country, uniting veterans, and their families. To do this, it is necessary to create a comprehensive system of professional development "from athlete to coach". Overall, our team decided to start this process.