Two-day archery event to feature at Invictus Games in Den Haag
Archery’s back on the programme of the Invictus Games as the Netherlands prepares to host the fifth edition on 16-22 April.
The Games are an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans, 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.
This time, the archery competition runs for two days – Sunday 17 and Monday 18 April – at the Zuiderpark in the south of Den Haag, with nine medals available in total.
Archers will compete in recurve, compound or novice (recurve) divisions, across men’s and women’s individual, and mixed team events.
The novice class is only open to athletes who started archery specifically for these Invictus Games. Unlike the other divisions, equipment is provided by the organisers. All archers will shoot at 18 metres.
“It is really great and exciting to host this event in the Netherlands,” said para archer Silvia Gerrits, who’s also coach of the Dutch Invictus archery team. “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’. All competitors are invited to bring two friends or family members who have helped during their rehabilitation process at the invitation and expense of the organisers.
It’s a shorter trip for the families of the local team.
Dutch archery team captain Marco Tessers spoke of his appreciation in competing on home soil.
“It is really special to be a competitor at the Invictus Games in the Hague this year,” he said. “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 (Great Britain) in September 2014 before heading to Orlando (USA) in 2016, Toronto (Canada) in 2017 and Sydney (Australia) in 2018.
Den Haag was originally scheduled to host the event in 2020 but it was delayed by two years due to the pandemic.
Photos courtesy Invictus Games and Dutch Ministry of Defence.