EIS Lead Sports Psychologist Sarah Cecil will be lending her expertise to servicemen and women taking part in the Invictus Games in Australia.
Sarah is the Lead Sports Psychologist for Team UK in what is the world’s only international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
The event is the brainchild of the Duke of Sussex, himself a former British soldier. After witnessing first-hand how the power of sport can help physically, psychologically and socially those suffering from injuries and illness, he brought the idea to life.
It has gone from strength to strength since its 2014 launch and Sarah is taking part in her fourth Games, which is this year hosted in Sydney.
Sarah’s involvement comes after she wrote and ran a transition program for Help for Heroes called Front Line to Start Line, alongside UK Sport, the British Paralympic Association (BOA) and the EIS in 2014.
Now part of a 40-strong support team, Sarah will undertake staff training for all members of the varied support staff, as well as being on hand for the athletes.
This year, Team UK are travelling with 72 athletes, who are taking part across 11 sports. The rigorous selection process for Team UK was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.
Since 2005 Sarah has worked with a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports and medallists with the EIS. Understandably, there’s a difference when she’s away with Team UK, but it’s an experience she loves.
Sarah said: “The big difference with the Invictus Games is that the purpose is recovery. The big picture is clear for the whole team.
“We have over 70 athletes with a range of physical and mental health issues, which are openly talked about.
“If I can help some of these competitors deliver the performance they want on this stage, that can act as a springboard for their recovery. They love being together and challenging themselves, as well as supporting each other.
“The real joy for me comes seeing the athletes with their friends and family after competing, then hearing the stories about what the servicemen and women go on and do next.”
The Invictus Games takes place from 20-27 October 2018 in Sydney, Australia.