Our Armed Forces do a great deal on our behalf. In order to protect our interests and our way of life, we frequently ask these brave men and women to risk their lives in extreme circumstances and when called upon they do so with great courage and professionalism.
Sport makes a vital contribution to the Army’s operational capability. It helps soldiers to work in teams, develop as individuals and aids recruiting and retention. It promotes self discipline, esprit-de-corps and raises standards of fitness and endurance. It brings out the best in people and stimulates the hunger to win on the field and on the battleground.
For those who come home with life changing injuries, sport can play a key role in helping to rebuild their lives by providing positive goals, improving physical mobility and confidence.
The Team Army brand was launched to attract fundraising and sponsorship with the aim of promoting and sustaining Army sport and ensuring its future success. Since our launch in January 2011, we have distributed over £1m in grants to more than 50 sports associations and several organisations that specifically assist our disabled and recovering servicemen and women.
Case in point: Captain Anthony Harris
A veteran of Northern Ireland and three tours in Iraq, 30-year-old Royal Fusilier Captain Anthony Harris was seriously injured in May 2009 when his Jackal patrol vehicle was destroyed by an IED in Sangin, Afghanistan. The blast shattered both of Tony’s ankles and ripped apart his left elbow.
After 10 months of operations, Tony chose to have his leg amputated below the knee and is adjusting to his ‘new life’ with the help of family and friends. Tony is now back working as a serving officer and is one of founding members of Race2Recovery.
“Rehabilitating from serious injury has been a long and challenging journey for me and being able to continue to participate in motor sport gave me the challenge and competition I needed to realise what my body and mind is capable of achieving after injury.”
Case in point: Major Guy Fordham
Regimental Medical Officer of 1st Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, Major Guy Fordham is a veteran of three operational tours and is due to deploy to Afghanistan in 2012. A former double Olympian for the Great Britain Hockey Team, Major Fordham is now the coach of the Army Senior Men’s Hockey Team.
“Sport in the Army is all inclusive and can be played at all levels of ability, from sub-unit competitions through to elite Army representation. It engenders a sense of unity and togetherness for the team being represented that is carried through into day to day working life and, ultimately, the battlefield.”