Invictus Games: Nigeria gets Africa’s first entry at Prince Harry’s games for wounded veterans
All the three countries will make their debut in this year’s sports competition.
Team Nigeria’s captain, Corporal Efiom Antigha, told CNN he was excited to compete in the September Games.
“I feel very happy because, before now, I didn’t think I could be involved in any of these sports activities.”
“The Invictus Foundation has helped me develop physically and mentally,” said Antigha, 30, who said he was initially depressed after being injured.
“Before joining Invictus, I had never heard of sitting in volleyball. When I saw that I could participate in the game without straining my limbs, I felt great. Since then, my spirit has been high. ,” he said.
‘I can now take myself to the gym for upper body work. That’s something I haven’t done since I got injured.”
Antigha, who fractured his kneecap in 2019 during a freshman football game organized by an army unit, said he was looking forward to meeting other wounded soldiers from other countries.
“I want to hear their stories and compete with them,” he told CNN.
The Nigerian contingent’s team manager, Bobby Ojeh, told CNN that the country had been allocated 10 competitive slots and the selection of squad members had begun.
“There will be 10 participating in different sports,” said Ojeh, who also said the Nigerian team was hoping to compete in categories such as wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, powerlifting and rowing.
“We have professional coaches who train our men in these games,” he added, adding that the participants will attend the games with their friends and family.
Participants will be selected from a pool of 35 wounded soldiers who have been supported by the charity.
Medals are awarded to winners and runners-up in sports categories at the Invictus Games, but organizers say the event is not about winning medals, but about helping veterans on their road to recovery.
The Chief Executive of the Invictus Games Foundation, Dominic Reid OBE, said in a press statement that he was “delighted” that Nigeria had been invited to participate in the Games.
“The opportunities we provided within Nigeria, including support from senior military stakeholders, had such an impact that we felt the team there was ready and well prepared to attend the Invictus Games,” he added.
Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor, said the Games for Invictus recovery programs are impacting injured and sick military personnel in the country.
“Since joining the Invictus Community of Nations, we have seen the impact that sport for recovery is already having on those who have been injured or ill while serving, and those around them. on.”
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