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Ilford woman selected for UK team in Invictus Games

PUBLISHED: 14:24 18 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:37 18 May 2018

Abbie will be competing in three different sports. Picture: Help for Heros

Abbie will be competing in three different sports. Picture: Help for Heros

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A woman from Ilford has made the UK team for the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May with the team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 was exclusively unveiled at Horse Guards Parade. Picture: Owen CoobanThe Prime Minister, Theresa May with the team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 was exclusively unveiled at Horse Guards Parade. Picture: Owen Cooban

Lance corporal Abbie Kasparis, 32 from Ilford, will be representing the country in athletics, powerlifting and rowing.

The Invictus Games is an international multi-sport event, created by His Royal Highness Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel take part in a variety of disciplines.

Abbie credits sport in assisting her ongoing recovery and said her family have noticed an increase in confidence since she began training.

“I have a reason to get out of bed and keep living,” she said.

Abbie (right) at a UK team trial. Picture: THEOCOHENAbbie (right) at a UK team trial. Picture: THEOCOHEN

“It’s a dream come true and a huge privilege to represent my country.

“However, knowing it isn’t always the destination but the journey is empowering.

“That’s why I’m going to concentrate on the task in hand – my recovery - and I’ll take things one day at a time and use
sports to aid me.”

A group of 72 military personnel and veterans have been selected to represent the UK and 64per cent of the team are new to the competition.

The Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP talks with the team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. Picture: Sergeant Donald ToddThe Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP talks with the team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. Picture: Sergeant Donald Todd

The event takes place in October and tickets go on sale on Monday, May 28.

“The sports I’ve chosen are individual, but I love the fact that I am still part
of a team,” added Abbie.

“Everyone cheers you on and it’s a great feeling to belong.”

The UK delegation to the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is being delivered by a partnership comprising of The Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes, and The Royal British Legion.Jaguar Land Rover is also supporting the team.

Former Royal Signals Corporal Mark ‘dot’ Perkins is the UK’s team captain and he will compete in cycling and rowing.

He was discharged in 2005 and now works as a civil servant rehabilitating injured soldiers.

“There are few moments in one’s life when an event occurs that truly transforms your life, the Invictus Games is it,” he said.

“They are all about empowerment, they empower us all to fight the chains of physical disability, to fight the intangible burden of mental illness and they empower us to focus on being the best we can be despite the scars that we all now wear”.

“Whilst participating in the games our scars are like medals that we can proudly display rather than hide in shame or embarrassment.

“Invictus allows us to be judged on what we can achieve, rather than what we can’t - To simply be selected for Team UK was an amazing achievement, to then be further selected as the captain and to represent these incredibly brave men and women is extremely humbling, it is a huge privilege to be given this honour.”

The squad will compete in 11 sports including archery, wheelchair Rugby; and sitting volleyball.


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