Tel: 01623 707017
We've Got Mansfield, Ashfield & Sherwood Covered


Support for Invictus Games athlete

Posted onPosted on 6th Apr

Mansfield Rugby Club helped Mansfield Woodhouse athlete Dave Wilkinson with a donation of club kit towards his preparations for taking part in the Invictus Games, from 16th to 22nd April.

The prestigious event for international teams of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women is finally being held in The Hague, Netherlands, having been postponed in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Royal Signals veteran Dave, an amputee, will represent Team UK at sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby.

The Invictus programme enabled him to build confidence and support those in a similar situation. He hopes that his willingness to help others with disabilities, whether physical or mental, has the potential to develop into a future career as a sports coach, working with young people.

Rugby club chairman Pete Steffen said: “We are delighted to be able to support Dave as a local lad in some small way. He’s a determined young man and I’m sure he will do well. We will all be rooting for him and his team mates at the games.”

Dave said: “I’m a firm believer that sport has the power to transform lives and prove to children and young adults that they can achieve their life goals, regardless of their disability.

“I would like to show others, regardless of their disability, whether it is mental or physical, that there is something out there to compete in.”

Richard Osborne, head coach of the UK sitting volleyball team, said: “The journey to The Hague started back in November 2019, which seems a lifetime ago. Obviously, all our preparations leading up to the games were put on hold as the pandemic brought everything to a standstill, and when the programme restarted in November 2021, we essentially had to press the restart button.

“Although it is nearly two and a half years since we began, the players have actually only been together for 20 days and it is to their immense credit that they have achieved the level of performance they will now take to the Netherlands.

“I am incredibly proud of their hard work, good humour and support for each other and I’m excited to see how far that effort will take them.

“Whatever the outcome, we must not lose sight of the fact this process is to aid their recovery, and how they move on with their lives after the Invictus Games. Judging from what I have witnessed I have little doubt they will be fine, and I hope they will continue to play sitting volleyball for many years to come.”