Prince Harry’s Invictus ‘family’ now has members from ‘every continent’ but one

Harry reveals Invictus Games 2025 will take place in Canada

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The Duke of Sussex is the founding patron of the Paralympic-style games, and hosted them in The Hague, The Netherlands, this year. His excitement was palpable as he announced Colombia and Nigeria had joined the foundation – but it comes a day after the controversial decision was announced to drop Help for Heroes as the charity responsible for training up Team UK.

Welcoming Colombia and Nigeria to the games, Prince Harry said he was “delighted” that the two nations would be joining their “inspiring international family”.

He added: “As we continue to harness the power of sport in recovery and rehabilitation year-round, I’m proud to share that Invictus is now represented across every continent (except Antarctica).

“The Invictus community of nations is built by the resilience of the men and women who serve or have served, and it’s a distinct honour to offer even more wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans the opportunity to be included in the community and programming we offer.”

It is not yet known if the two newcomers will take part in the 2023 Dusseldorf Invictus Games in Germany, as the participants have yet to be announced.

Members of the Invictus community are given access to programmes such as the We Are Invictus platform for international wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans.

The new members’ announcement comes just after Help for Heroes was controversially dropped from Team UK.

They were originally responsible for the selection, training and welfare of UK competitors at the games, a role which will now be taken up by the Royal British Legion for the next five years.

The decision came from the Ministry of Defence, who said it wanted to evaluate whether the Invictus Games were still providing value for money for members of the public who support the charity through donations after 2023’s competition.

The MoD added it wanted to reduce its potential liability if there was a funding shortfall, and share costs more evenly with the two other partners behind the British team – the defence ministry and the Royal British Legion.

It insisted however that it did want to continue preparing the British team and remained supportive of Invictus.

The decision was met with major disappointment from Help for Heroes staff.

The charity has assisted 25,000 wounded and injured military personnel and veterans since it was founded in 2007 by Bryn and Emma Parry after they visited soldiers at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.

Lis Skeet, Services Director at Help for Heroes, said: “Help for Heroes is incredibly proud to have trained, supported and delivered Team UK for the past five Invictus Games.

“However, following extensive discussions, it has been decided by the MOD that the Royal British Legion will lead the end-to-end delivery of Team UK to the Invictus Games for the next five years and will also be the main funder of the programme.

“Unfortunately, therefore, we will no longer be directly involved in Invictus Team UK. We want to emphasise that this was not a decision we made ourselves.”

The Duke of Sussex has not spoken publicly about the decision and is not believed to have been involved in it.

A spokesman for the foundation said: “This was a decision taken by the UK Ministry of Defence following proposals for the team structure moving forward, and not a matter for the Invictus Games Foundation.

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“Across our participating nations, we work alongside many military organisations and charities to support international wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, including our programmes beyond the games, and will continue to do so with Help for Heroes.”

An MOD spokeswoman said: “The Royal British Legion was able to offer secure funding, more personnel to support the team and a commitment to supporting Team UK into the future.

We therefore felt this would be the best choice for Team UK. Our priority is always to ensure Team UK and our wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans get the best experience.

She added: “We remain enormously grateful for all the work Help For Heroes has done to take Team UK to the Invictus Games and continue to work with them to support the Armed Forces community.”

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