New Wasps signings Bradley Davies and Alapati Leiua share their professional rugby experience with the British Armed Forces team ahead of them competing in the wheelchair rugby discipline at the Invictus Games
Visit to training session part of an innovative partnership between Wasps and the Invictus Games, with Wasps wearing a limited edition shirt for the London Double Header
The Invictus Games, championed by Prince Harry and presented by Jaguar Land Rover, is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women taking place in London from 10-14 September 2014
WHITLEY, Tuesday 2nd September – Rugby stars Bradley Davies and Alapati Leiua helped wounded warriors prepare for the Invictus Games, by sharing their experiences as international rugby players.
The Wasps’ new signings spoke to members of the British Armed Forces team, as part of an innovative partnership between the Premiership club and the new international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel.
Wales’ lock Davies and Samoan back Leiua joined in with a wheelchair rugby training session organised by Help for Heroes at the Thornbury Leisure Centre near Bristol. The two Premiership stars met the British team who will go for gold when the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, begins at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 10th September.
Bradley Davies, capped 42 times by Wales said: “Before today I thought this sport looked easy. It’s an eye opener for me to sit in that chair and get smashed from every angle. I’ve got a new added respect for these guys.”
Samoan international Alapati Leiua added: “It’s great to learn some skills from a different sport and I feel honoured and privileged to meet these wheelchair rugby players. The game takes a lot of upper body strength and it was good fun to try it out.”
Carolyne Dufley, a Corporal with the Royal Logistics Core, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury during an international Judo match in the USA and will compete for the British Armed Forces in wheelchair rugby and powerlifting at the Invictus Games, said: “I’m a huge rugby union fan so it’s been really nice to meet the guys and teach them a bit about the sport. The two games have very close similarities, such as the aggression and the technicalities of where you’ve got to place the ball.”
Wasps will wear a limited edition away shirt for their London Double Header clash with Saracens on Saturday 6th September, as part of their partnership with the Invictus Games. The club hopes the branding will raise awareness of the event which features nine sports and over 400 competitors from across the world.
Davies, whose brother is currently serving in the Armed Forces, added: “I think Wasps’ partnership with the Invictus Games is great. It’s something that will hopefully highlight the event to lots of people watching the London Double Header on TV.”
The Invictus Games are being organised with the support and backing of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence. It will see more than 400 wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, from 14 nations, competing at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, thanks to the Mayor of London, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, DCMS and Sport England.
Tickets for the Invictus Games cost £12.85 per person, per session and are on sale at www.invictusgames.org