From June 1 to 9, 2018, Team Canada will compete in the 2018 Warrior Games for the first time ever. The Warrior Games are taking place at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Canada is sending an 18 person team to participate. The team consists of seven serving members and 11 Veterans.
“I am thrilled to be part of the first Canadian contingent to take part in the Warrior Games. This event is about so much more than a competition. It’s about perseverance, determination, overcoming challenges, and camaraderie. On behalf of all of Team Canada, it is an honour to represent Canada at this year’s Games,” said Leading Seaman (ret’d) Ron Cleroux,
Team Canada Warrior Games captain, in a press release issued May 31.
The Warrior Games were created in 2010 and inspired by His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales’ creation of the Invictus Games. Both competitions focus on the critical role sports can play in improving the quality of life for ill and injured armed forces members, veterans and their families.
The goal of the Warrior Games seeks to enhance the recovery of ill and injured military members and Veterans through sports and recreation. Team Canada’s members and will compete in 11 sports against more than 300 ill and injured Armed Forces members and Veterans from the U.S., U.K., and Australia. Canada’s participation in the 2018 Warrior Games was made possible through the Canadian Armed Forces’ Soldier On Program.
The 11 sports they will compete in include archery, cycling, track, field, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, time trial cycling and wheelchair basketball.
“I am extremely proud of our currently serving members and Veterans who are representing Canada at the 2018 Warrior Games. With the help of family and friends, they have taken an active role in their recovery. Their courage and determination in overcoming mental health and physical injuries sustained while serving their country is an inspiration to all,” said Brigadier-General Mark Misener, Commander Joint Personnel Support Unit, in the press release.
The 2018 Warrior Games will be live-streamed on the Department of Defence Warrior Games website, giving all Canadians the opportunity to follow the games and support Team Canada from anywhere in the country.
“The Warrior Games serve as a powerful reminder of the extraordinary courage and determination of those who acquired a physical or mental health injury or illness while serving our country. Team Canada athletes have faced challenges on and off the battlefield, and are now allowing themselves to be challenged once again, this time on the sports field,” said Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre, Commander of Military Personnel Command, in a press release issued May 31. “To all of our athletes – we are incredibly proud of your journey so far and wish you the very best of luck.”
Canada plans to send a team of up to 40 athletes annually in future games. The next Warrior Games are scheduled for June 2019 in Tampa, Florida.
The CAF’s Soldier On Program has been able to support more than 4,000 members since it began over 10 years ago. The Soldier On Program remains committed to supporting Veterans and serving members who have a permanent mental health or physical injury, in transitioning into their new normal, overcoming challenges and Soldier On in life. Through the generosity of Canadians, they have dispersed over $5.4 million directly to ill and injured members across the country, supporting their recovery and transition.