Invictus Games postponed until 2022
4th February 2021
The UK's Invictus Games Sitting Volleyball Team has echoed the organiser's message of resilience after the Games were once again postponed.
Originally set to take place in May 2020, the Invictus Games Foundation recently announced its intention to move the competition from May 2021 to the spring of 2022, once more because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Games see international teams of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women compete in nine different sports, including sitting volleyball. Since they were launched in 2014, the UK Sitting Volleyball Team has earnt an impressive medal haul, taking gold at London 2014 and silver at Orlando 2016, Toronto 2017 and Sydney 2018.
In a joint statement, The Duke of Sussex, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation; Mart de Kruif, Chair of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020; and Sir Keith Mills, Chair of the Invictus Games Foundation, said: “We are Invictus: from the communities that host and cherish the Games, and the competitors who display unshakeable resilience and commitment as they prepare for and participate in the Games, to the families and network of supporters who support these men and women on their journey to competition.
“For so many around the world, the Invictus community included, Covid-19 has changed our expectations, hopes, and plans. But our unwavering mission is one bound by resilience and community—and that mission will continue to shine through between now and Spring 2022, when we hope to see everybody in person again in The Hague.
"For now, we are continuing to plan programming, opportunities to connect safely during the foreseeable future, and ways to infuse the spirit of Invictus in your own communities over the coming year. We’re excited to share more soon.”
In response, Richard Osborne, Head Coach of the UK’s Invictus Games Sitting Volleyball Team, added: “These are incredibly difficult times, and I am certain the decision taken by the Invictus Games Foundation and organising committee was not taken lightly.
“In this situation it is only about doing the right thing for the competitors, their families, staff, and volunteers while ensuring the virus is not spread further around the globe.
“Team UK’s Sitting Volleyball Team has worked incredibly hard over the last 14 months. The training camps leading up to the 2020 Games were fantastic and while it was disappointing to learn the competition would be postponed until May 2021, the team rallied in typical style and immersed itself in virtual training which has been ongoing since June last year.
“We are now faced with a further wait before we can resume face to face training, but I have no doubt that when that time comes, we will all be raring to go so that, come game time, the team will be ready to give its best, representing the UK with the same fierce pride and passion it did when serving in uniform.
“It has been an absolute pleasure for me and my fellow coach, Sean Poole, to work with the team and we have no doubt the wait will be worth it in the long run.”
Image: The UK’s Sitting Volleyball Team at the 2018 Invictus Games.