Meet the Hampshire veterans taking part in the 2020 Invictus Games

ARMED forces veterans from across the Portsmouth region will be representing Queen and country once again on the world stage.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 6:00 am
The Duke of Sussex meets team members during the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games at The Hague, 2020. Picture: Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire

Service personnel who are either wounded, ill or sick (WIS) will be heading to The Hague in 2020 for the Invictus Games.

Last year, the region was represented by John Shepard from Gosport and Emma McCormick from Portsmouth, but 2020 will see all-new faces take centre stage.

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Gosport veteran reflects on his '˜incredible' Invictus Games

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Sherry McBain and Nigel White. Picture: Help For Heroes

Russell Hunt and Nigel White from Gosport will join Sherry McBain from Sarisbury Green in next year’s competition.

Former navy Leading Hand Russell, 33, has battled injuries and mental health problems for more than a decade.

Now working for BAE Systems, he said: ‘Invictus has allowed me to join the military family again, be around like-minded people and challenge myself in ways I never thought I’d be able to again.

‘Each time I attend an Invictus event I feel a little like my old self; I have previously tried to get help but nothing yet has helped as much as being part of the Invictus family.’

Russell Hunt, from Gosport, who has been selected for the 2020 Invictus Games. Picture: BAE Systems

RAF Squadron Leader Sherry, 40, has been through three abdominal surgeries and a carpal tunnel operation, while fighting PTSD.

She said: ‘Having withdrawn from everything I loved as a consequence of PTSD, I want to put myself out there.

‘To compete on the world stage, to represent my country, service and branch would be a dream come true and a unique lifetime experience.

‘I would like my family and friends to know I have done everything in my power to manage my pain and overcome PTSD, to get on top of it so I own the condition and it doesn’t rule my life.’

Nigel White is still serving in the Royal Navy at HMS Sultan, despite living with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), an inflammatory rheumatic disease.

He said: ‘Due to the fact that I have a progressive, possibly degenerative condition I will never be able to fully complete my recovery journey and possibly some of the sports I’m training in now, I may be unable to participate in, in the future.

‘So I want to make the most of this opportunity while I can.’