On Thursday May 9, HRH the Duke of Sussex and Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation visited The Hague to mark the countdown to the start of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 presented by Jaguar Land Rover. The Invictus Games, an international sporting event for physically and mentally wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, will start in exactly one year and will be held in Zuiderpark in The Hague.
Picture: Duke of Sussex, Chairman Invictus Games The Hague Mart de Kruif and Pauline Krikke, Major of The Hague
Under the supervision of the Chairman of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, Lieutenant General (retired), Mart de Kruif, Honorary Chairman HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, and Major of The Hague, Pauline Krikke, the Duke of Sussex unveiled a flower creation of yellow tulips in the Sports Campus in Zuiderpark forming the Invictus Games logo.
In a speech given at the launch event, The Duke of Sussex addressed the Dutch: ‘I know that once again you will fully get behind the Servicemen and women who have represented their countries so bravely, and that everyone watching here and around the world won’t want to miss a single moment of these Games…..make these Games your own, we chose you for a reason, and it wasn’t just because I like the colour orange.’
During the day, Minister of Defence, Ank Bijleveld- Schouten and Minister of Health Welfare and Sport, Bruno Bruins joined the Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation to observe a demonstration of wheelchair basketball and archery by potential Dutch participants of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020. There, the Duke of Sussex spoke with potential participants about their preparations for this unique event.
Joyce van de Waardenburg, a potential competitor of the Invictus Games 2020, spoke with the Duke: 'An incredibly sympathetic man. It is particularly impressive how he puts the Invictus Games on the map and with that creates recognition for people with experiences like mine. Sport is an essential outlet. Without sport I would not be here like this. "
Chairman Mart de Kruif was also delighted to welcome Jaguar Land Rover as Presenting Partner, extending the company’s support for a fifth Invictus Games. Earlier in the day, The Duke and other guests were given a demonstration of Jaguar Land Rover’s mobility door prototype technology , which is specially developed to open and close the car door with power assistance.
A prototype of the new Land Rover Defender, complete with Invictus Games The Hague 2020 camouflage, was also shown. The new Land Rover Defender will be used for the Driving Challenge at the Invictus Games in 2020.
Prof Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said “Everyone at Jaguar Land Rover is hugely passionate about the Invictus Games. We are delighted to continue as Presenting Partner for 2020. Having been to the US, Canada and Australia, we are excited to welcome this inspirational event back to Europe. I am so proud the competitors will be among the first people in the world to drive the new Defender when they compete in the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge in The Hague.”
Following the demonstration, The Duke of Sussex was invited for a typical Dutch bicycle tour through the Zuiderpark joined by former competitor Dennis van der Stroom and Invictus Games the Hague 2020 Chairman Lieutenant General (retired), Mart de Kruif. On the way, they were shown how in one year, this park will be transformed into the Invictus Games Park. Taking place from 9 – 16 May 2020, 500 competitors from 19 countries will participate in ten adaptive sporting events.
From 9 to 16 May 2020 the Zuiderpark will be transformed into the Invictus Games Park. 500 competitors from 19 countries will participate in ten adaptive sporting events, joined by 1000 family and friends.
The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans. The Invictus Games use the power of sport to stimulate recovery, support rehabilitation and generate broader understanding and respect for the men and women who serve or have served their country. Since the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014 in London, the following Invictus Games have been held in Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017) and Sydney (2018).
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The Invictus Games Foundation was established following the success of the Invictus Games 2014. It is the owner of the brand and the selector of future Host Cities. It exists to ensure that the Invictus Games continue to adhere to the high standards that have been set. It is responsible for sport & competition management, rules & categorisations and branding. The Foundation is also the final arbiter on the inclusion of additional sports and Participating Nations.
The Foundation has presided over the transition from a one-off inspiring Games to a global movement allowing the ‘Invictus Spirit’ to positively influence all levels of society. People around the world have drawn inspiration from the competitors and their stories of resilience and determination.
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Jaguar Land Rover first joined the Invictus Games family as Presenting Partner for the inaugural event in London in 2014, and continued its association in Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018. Each Games have held a Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge, and featured Jaguar and Land Rover awards in their closing ceremonies.
Jaguar Land Rover has continually demonstrated a commitment to supporting wounded, injured and ill former and current servicemen and women. Alongside the company’s support of the Invictus Games it has also, through numerous recruitment initiatives, recruited more than 700 ex-military men and women globally into the workplace since 2014.
The Defender shown during the Jaguar Land Rover demonstration on May 9th 2019 gave The Duke of Sussex and other guests on the day a sneak preview of the new Defender model. This model will be revealed worldwide later in 2019 and will be the most capable vehicle that Land Rover has ever built.
The guests were also shown a demonstration of Jaguar Land Rover’s mobility door prototype technology on a Land Rover Sport. This is specially developed to open and close the car door with power assistance. Once on board, the driver can close the doors with no need to reach out and pull them shut.