June 14th 2022, London – Israel is confirmed as the latest nation to join the Invictus Games Foundation’s Community of Nations, and is now also confirmed to be joining Colombia in Germany next year at the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
Dominic Reid, CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation said, ‘As the community continues to grow beyond the Games, I’m excited to be exploring additional programmes of activity to allow even more nations to benefit from Invictus. Israel have a long standing respect for the power of sport in recovery, and I’m pleased they are joining our wider community this year. As next year’s Invictus Games hosts are building ‘a Home for Respect’ in Germany, I am also looking forward to Israel and Colombia joining us in Dusseldorf next September.’
Welcoming the announcement of Israel’s participation, German Minister of Defence Christine Lambrecht, said, “The Invictus Games are a unique international sports festival promoting diversity, friendship and mutual exchange. Israel and Germany are bound by close friendship and Israel’s participation is going to underline that special relationship between our two nations.”
Confirming Colombia’s invitation too, Lambrecht continues with, “Germany supports the peace process in Colombia which depends on the reintegration of the veterans into society. The Invictus Games can have positive effects on the advancement of veteran support measures, and I am glad that the Colombian competitors will also have the opportunity to participate on this international stage”
Colombia, Israel and Nigeria are the three newest members of the newly formed Invictus Community of Nations, bringing the total number of community nations to 23. From that community, the host committee of the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 have confirmed that teams from Colombia and Israel are invited to attend the Games in Germany next year, bringing the number of nations confirmed for the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 to 21.
Whilst not yet set to participate in the upcoming Invictus Games, the team in Nigeria are benefiting from membership by further developing their sports recovery programmes, including exploring a series of Invictus: Endeavours later this year with the international community.
Limor Luria, Deputy Director General and Head of Israel’s Ministry of Defense’s Rehabilitation Department, said “We are very grateful for the warm welcome to the Invictus Community of Nations. It is a pleasure to take part in the important work of the Invictus Games Foundation, share our own experience in the sports recovery field, and learn from the community. We were also very happy to be invited to participate in the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023. Being a part of the Invictus Community will provide more opportunities for recovery among veterans who were wounded or became ill whilst serving. In Israel, we have learnt a great deal about the importance of physical activity as a positive catalyst for recovery and rehabilitation. We look forward to sharing our experience, and learning from the other nations, in this uplifting and supportive community.”
Adv. Edan Kleiman, Chairman of the IDF Disabled Veterans Organisation, said, “We are pleased and proud to take part in the Invictus Games and represent the State of Israel. Wounded Israeli servicemen and women, who are shining examples of perseverance in rehabilitation and excellence in sports, will continue to honorably represent Israel at the Invictus Games. We witness daily the important role that sport plays in strengthening not only the body but the spirit, enabling people to regain their lives. No less important is the wonderful opportunity to bring together wounded war veterans from other countries to form life long bonds of camaraderie.”
Major General (Ret.) Alberto Sepulveda Riaño, Director of the Veterans and Inclusive Rehabilitation Department of the Ministry of National Defense of Colombia said: “We are proud to be the first country in Latin America to participate in the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the way in which sport can physically, psychologically and socially transform the lives of our veterans from the Armed Forces and National Police, who have demonstrated such resilience to the conflict. The Invictus Games will provide an important platform for our heroes to exchange experiences with competitors from the other countries that currently make up the Community of Nations. We are proud to present our soldiers and policemen who wore the uniform of their homeland and were willing to risk their lives for the wellbeing and security of Colombians.”
The new community structure for the Invictus Games Foundation enables access by member nations’ wounded injured and sick service personnel and veterans to the Invictus Games Foundation’s wider programme of activity. This activity is available all year round, beyond the Games, and allows smaller nations or nations newer to sport recovery programmes to experience the power of sport, esports, and adventurous challenge ahead of any future potential participation in an Invictus Games.
Being part of the Invictus Community of Nations does not automatically lead to participation in the Invictus Games but instead gives access to programmes such as the We Are Invictus platform for international wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans; the Powered by Invictus leagues, featuring sports and esports challenges to maintain competition and community beyond the Games; to the Invictus: Endeavour Grants Programme for sports and adventurous challenge, and to the IGF Conversation series, sharing best practice amongst the community.
About the Invictus Games Foundation:
The Invictus Games Foundation is the charity behind the Invictus Games. Founded in 2014 post the inaugural Invictus Games London 2014, the Foundation oversees the delivery of the Invictus Games as well as supports its international community with opportunities to use sports, esports and adventurous challenge to inspire, improve and influence recovery, beyond the Games.
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, is Founding Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation. The Invictus Games have so far taken place in London 2014, Orlando 2016, Toronto 2017, Sydney 2018 and The Hague in 2022. Subsequent Games will be held in Dusseldorf 2023, September 9th – 16th and Vancouver-Whistler 2025, in February.
Current Invictus Games participating nations: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, UK, Ukraine, and USA.
Additional members of the Invictus Community of Nations: Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Brigadier General Alfred Marstaller, Project Leader for the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023, said:
“I am pleased to see that more nations and societies are embracing the unique spirit of the Invictus Games, providing a growing number of servicemen and women and their families and friends with an opportunity to experience the Invictus Games as a home for respect for the sacrifices they have made for their countries.”
Tzipi Hotovely, Ambassador of Israel to the UK, said, “We are delighted that Israel was invited to be part of the Invictus community of nations, and that we at the embassy of Israel in London were able to contribute to that. This add another layer to the profound relationship between our two nations, focusing on civil society cooperation. This is an extraordinary community that will allow Israel and Israeli Veterans not only to connect with their comrades from around the world, and participate in a wonderful event, but also to share the knowledge and expertise Israel has gained in the fields of Rehabilitation, Mental Health and community spirit. We thank the Invictus Games foundation and all partners involved for making this happen.”