Scots head to Canada for global para-sport event

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(left to right) Scott Simon, Michael Mellon and Scott Meenagh

Three veterans have been chosen to compete in the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronoto

Susan Smith's photo

30th May 2017 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Three injured Scots veterans have been chosen to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.

They are Scott Meenagh from Cumbernauld, Michael Mellon from Cardenden, both amputees, and Scott Simon from Aviemore, who has a brain injury and is awaiting spinal surgery.

Scott Meenagh was serving with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan when he lost both legs after stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device in 2011. He competed at the 2014 Games, captaining the British Armed Forces Rowing Team, and the 2016 Games.

Scott will be competing at Toronto 2017 in athletics (100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 1500 metres and 4x100 metres relay) and rowing. He also hopes to represent his country at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Nordic skiing.

Scott said: “The Invictus Games has been a life-changing pillar on my personal recovery pathway. I feel I have benefitted hugely from the effect of sport on recovery. Being part of the Invictus movement makes me extremely proud and being able to be part of others’ journeys is truly special.”

Michael Mellon served as a Senior Aircraftman in the Royal Air Force, before being discharged in 2005. He is an amputee and lives with depression. He will be taking part in wheelchair basketball, athletics (shot put and discus) and sitting volleyball.

He says the games are already having a positive effect on his life after leaving the RAF: “I feel like I’m part of a team again, it’s like I’ve never been away from the Armed Forces. I gel with the other athletes and we have loads in common. I hope the main benefit for me will be regaining my confidence within a group, be able to talk to others and feel a part of something bigger.”

Scott Simon, a former RAF Flight Sergeant at RAF Grantown, will compete in powerlifting, field athletics and indoor rowing. He has a traumatic brain injury and a spinal injury, for which he is currently waiting for surgery, but is determined not to let that stop him competing. He currently leads British Canoeing’s Olympic Development Programme and sees the Invictus Games as his opportunity to compete on a personal level and find the identity that he feels he has lost.

He said: “Sport has been a huge part of my life. Since being injured and subsequently discharged I have suffered a loss of identity, focus and goals. The chance to represent the UK Team has already helped me regain focus and a personal goal. The Invictus Games will provide me with the ultimate goal of training and competing to represent the UK once more.”

Prince Harry, patron of the Invictus Games Foundation and pictured with Michael Mellon, unveiled the 90-strong team of wounded, injured and sic (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans who came together for the first time since selection at the Tower of London.

Prince Harry met the team ahead of the forthcoming Invictus Games in September, and posed for the first official team photograph. More hopefuls than ever before, 306 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialed 11 sports for one of the 90 places available on the UK team.

The rigorous selection process was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training. 

The UK delegation to the Invictus Games 2017 is being delivered by a partnership comprising Help for Heroes, The Ministry of Defence, and The Royal British Legion.

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