Few things are more inspiring in life than to watch someone in private pain visibly change in front of your eyes. To see them smile again, embrace their loved ones and beam with pride. That’s what every day saw at the inaugural Veterans Games.
The inaugural event – conceived and developed by Beit Halochem UK chairman Andrew Wolfson together with the Israeli Embassy –took place at the Beit Halochem centres in Israel between 26-30 May. The ground-breaking initiative, which has been over a year in the making, brought together 100 wounded British and Israeli veterans to celebrate the vital role sports and family play in rehabilitation.
The Veteran Games brought together British and Israeli veterans to compete in swimming, rifle shooting and X-Fit (a range of strength and endurance exercises)
The main programme provided more time for sharing experiences of war and recovery and for families to spend quality time together, according to Matthew Neve, who won gold in archery at Invictus two years ago.
The presence of Paralympic swimmer Hanoch Budin was a reminder of the heights injured veterans can reach. One of Israel’s most decorated athletes, he credited the family-friendly facilities at Beit Halochem with being instrumental in his success.
The delegation was led by Michael Freeman, counsellor for civil society affairs at the Israeli Embassy. The event was also attended by new Middle East minister and former navy officer Andrew Murrison, who said he was “humbled” to be in such company.
The Israeli Embassy’s Michael Freeman, who helped organise the initiative, said: “When we planned it we had a grand vision in our minds and it’s exceeded all those expectations. If there are people who want to make it happen maybe in two years time we can have another round with more countries joining in and this can become one of the key events in the sports and recovery programme for injured veterans from Britain, Israel and around the world.”
Adot believes that Veteran Games demonstrated amazing team work between Israelli and British veterans, showing how much we have in common and how much we can achieve together
The aim for more countries to join in the future programs is very inspiring.
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