Dutch ready to host Invictus Games
The fifth edition of the Invictus Games will take place in the Netherlands from 16 to 22 April and will again feature archery as it has done in the previous four events.
The Games are an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veteran and use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country.
The archery competition which runs on Sunday 17 and Monday 18 April will feature three titles each in three disciplines: men’s and women’s individual and mixed team medals in Novice Recurve, Open Recurve and Open Compound.
The novice class in recurve is offered for competitors who started archery for the Invictus Games and do not have their own equipment with the organisers providing equipment.
The archery competition permits all archers to shoot from a standing or sitting position, depending on their ability, with targets at 18 metres. It will be held at the Zuiderpark, a large park to the south of The Hague, Netherlands.
“It is really great and exciting to host this event in the Netherlands,” said para archer Silvia Gerrits, trainer and coach of the Dutch Invictus Archery team to World Archery ahead of the event.
“As the date of the opening ceremony comes closer you can see everybody's excitement getting higher and higher. A large group of 40 volunteers – all archers themselves – are working really hard to give all competitors the experience of a lifetime, now it finally is taking place.”
“We also get a great opportunity to raise awareness for veterans and their personal challenges because of their injuries and also to show the world how sport can help overcome their personal challenges and rebuild their confidence.”
“Along with fellow trainer and coach Reinier van Doornik we have been involved with teaching archery to wounded warriors since 2012. Our archery training takes place at the Military Rehabilitation Centre Aardenburg in Doorn every Tuesday evening and from this group the Invictus Games selection was formed.”
The word ‘Invictus’ means ‘unconquered’ with all competitors invited to bring two friends or family members who have helped during their rehabilitation process at the invitation and expense of the organisers.
One competitor is Netherlands’ team captain Marco Tessers and he appreciates what it means to participate on home soil.
“It is really special to be a competitor at the Invictus Games in the Hague this year,” he said to World Archery. “To compete at home for the Dutch Invictus Team is a privilege and honour it makes me really proud. For my friends and family it is also a big thank you for supporting me all of these years and standing behind me all the way.”
The inaugural Invictus Games were held in London (UK) in September 2014 before heading to Orlando (USA) in 2016, Toronto (Canada) in 2017 and Sydney (Australia) in 2018.
Photos: Invictus Games, Dutch Ministry of Defence
What’s happening? The postponed 2020 Invictus Games from 16 to 22 April in Zuiderpark, The Hague, Netherlands.
What’s at stake? Nine gold medals: three titles each in three disciplines – men’s and women’s individual and mixed team medals in Novice Recurve, Open Recurve and Open Compound.
What’s the story? The fifth edition of the multisport games was postponed twice due to coronavirus but are now set to go ahead. Archery has featured at all four previous editions.
- Sunday 17 April: Qualification, Eliminations
- Monday 18 April: Finals
How to follow
Information will be available on the Invictus Games website throughout the competition.
Around 500 competitors from 20 countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, United Kingdom and the USA.
They will participate in 10 sports – athletics, archery, cycling, indoor rowing, the Land Rover Driving Challenge, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
Archery competition at the 2020 Invictus Games starts with qualification on Sunday.