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Former Student Announced as First Female Captain of Team UK in 2020 Invictus Games

After studying Public Services with the college in 2007, Rachel Williamson gained a place as a Physical Training Instructor and Medic in the RAF and after an incident playing rugby was medically discharged. Rachel’s injury left her with no function in her right arm and a severe tremor.

Speaking to Stamford Mercury she said,

“I kept thinking I was worthless; I was a failure and had let everyone down. Being introduced to Help for Heroes and being selected for the Invictus Games in 2018 came at a perfect time for me. I met people who are going through the same things and we’ve all ended looking out for each other.

So far, my recovery journey has taken me from rock bottom to laying down a new foundation. This year I aim to build the new me and take the final step to where I want to be. I’ve accepted my injury; learnt I can let my emotions go and not be embarrassed or afraid about asking for help. I couldn’t have done that without the support of Help for Heroes this last year. I can smile again.

Being selected as part of Team UK in 2018 was a life changing moment and, along with the rest of the team, I will enjoy once again being able to represent my country. Now to be selected as Team UK Captain is truly an honour and I feel immensely proud to be given this opportunity.”

Rachel left the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney with overwhelming success taking away two gold, three silver and one bronze medals in swimming and rowing and hopes that her experience will help her mentor those who are new to the games next year.

The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in nine sports including …. The games use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support, rehabilitation and respect for former servicemen and women. The word ‘Invictus’ means ‘unconquered and embodies the fighting spirit injured personnel like Rachel can achieve post injury.

The 2020 Invictus Games are scheduled to be held at The Hague in The Netherlands in May. We are extremely proud of Rachel and wish her the best of luck.

Rachel Williamson

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