Participation in sports recovery via the Invictus Games has been shown to have a significant short- and long-term positive impact on the recovery journey of international wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and veterans.
Whilst the full report Beyond the Finish Line will be released in 2022 to incorporate further research following the rescheduled Invictus Games The Hague 2020, interim findings on the impact of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 so far indicate that its competitors experienced greater post-traumatic recovery than those who did not participate.
The research, led by Dr Celina Shirazipour and funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, is exploring the long-term physical, psychological and social impact of sport participation for recovery. By assessing the responses of those participating in the Games against those who did not participate, findings are indicating that competitors demonstrated a greater appreciation of life, a greater understanding of new possibilities that exist post-injury or illness, and a greater development of personal strength.
Dr Celina Shirazipour, said “Experiencing adversity or traumatic events can be life-altering and extremely distressing, however, the findings are suggesting that, under certain circumstances, individuals can go on to experience a positive change and post-traumatic growth. This is demonstrating to us the value of sport programming in supporting resilience and positive change in recovery.”
Dominic Reid, CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation, said, “We know from what the competitors, their friends and families, and those cheering them on from the stands have been telling us, that the positive impact of the Invictus Games on recovery is remarkable. What this research is beginning to tell us is how we can ensure that we maximise those benefits and influence the development of best practice for sport programmes to support the wellbeing of the international wounded, injured and sick armed forces community.”
Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “This research is demonstrating the positive impact of the work of the Invictus Games Foundation. At Forces in Mind Trust, we aim to enable all ex-Service personnel to have a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. This data suggests that participation in the Invictus Games, and by implication other sports recovery programmes, can have a positive impact on recovery and rehabilitation in both the short and long terms. Understanding post-traumatic growth is a key part of our Health programme, and we look forward to seeing the full research findings in a couple of years’ time.”
Further analysis is now underway, which will explore data across all participating nations and across both the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 and The Hague 2020. The full Executive Summary is available to download here.