ATHLETES from across the North East and North Yorkshire have been selected to be part of the team of wounded injured and sick service personnel and veterans to represent the UK in the 2020 Invictus Games.

Vicky Wales from Newcastle, Denise Kidger from Seaham, Lance Corporal Jordan Armitage from Darlington, Captain Ben McComb from Catterick, and Clare Keating from Middlesbrough, will travel to The Hague, Netherlands for the 2020 Games.

Invictus UK is delivered by a partnership comprising The Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes, and The Royal British Legion.

The Northern Echo: Jordan ArmitageJordan Armitage

They joined their teammates for the first time at the Honourable Artillery Company in London on Tuesday at an event also attended by the Games’ founder, the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry.

The athletes – 89 per cent of whom have never taken part in an Invictus Games before – will now undergo training camps delivered by Help for Heroes to ensure they are best prepared for the international sporting competition next year.

The Northern Echo: Ben McCombBen McComb

Clare Keating has a condition which means in in five to 10 years’ time she will be completely blind.

The former pupil of St Peter’s RC School, South Bank, and South Park College, Clare joined the RAF in September 2001 as an aircraft technician specialising in Chinooks.

She said: “I realised at the Invictus UK trials that my disability does not define me, it is just a small part of who I am. My prognosis isn’t good, but this has taught me that life goes on.”

“Sport has taught me that losing my sight doesn’t define me, there’s nothing in life I can’t do

L/Cpl Jordan Armitage became a chef after leaving Halton College but then joined the Army as he wanted to make a difference.

He served eight years in the Royal Dragoon Guards, including a six-month tour of Afghanistan before suffering an injury on a Combat Fitness Test which resulted in five major knee injuries. He also suffers from PTSD, depression and anxiety.

“Being selected for the Invictus Games means everything as I am able to be part of a team again. It has shown my family that anything is possible, and my wife says I have my smile back!”.

The 36-year-old married dad of three will be competing in Sitting Volleyball and is a travelling reserve in the Wheelchair Rugby at the Invictus Games, The Hague 2020.

“I am no longer the father who sits in the corner with a dazed look on my face all day, but a father who has won a medal and, in the eyes of my children, a professional sportsman. I will give everything I have to achieve my own personal goals and climb out of the hole I have been digging for so long.”

For Captain Ben McComb, although still serving, his role within the Royal Artillery has had to change since damage to the nerves in his legs back in 2012 became progressively worse and prevented him carrying out his former role of troop commander.

He said: “One of the great things about the Invictus Games is its profile, and therefore it’s an amazing opportunity to inspire others in a similar position to myself."

The team will compete in nine sports: Athletics; Archery; Wheelchair Basketball; Cycling; Powerlifting; Indoor Rowing; Wheelchair Rugby; Swimming and Sitting Volleyball. They will continue to train from now until May in various locations across the country as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team.

To enable Help for Heroes to support more wounded ,injured and sick veterans and Service personnel like those who benefit from taking part in sporting activities, visit