Five Royal Air Force serving personnel will attend the Invictus Games 2023.
- James Harrison
- Michael Evans
- Robert Grantham
- Stacey Denyer
- David Moncrieff
The Invictus Games are an inspirational display of true resilience, strength, and determination that capture the warrior spirit of wounded serving and veteran.
The participants, all wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans, will compete at the Games in Düsseldorf, between the 9th and 16th September 2023; supported by the Royal British Legion, in partnership with the MOD.
The Invictus Games, established in 2014, provides an opportunity for those who have suffered illness or injury during or as a result of their service to compete in a sporting environment as part of their recovery journey. The RBL has been involved in Team UK since 2016, when it started supporting the friends and families of participants on their journey to the Games. This is the first year the charity is taking responsibility for delivering the whole team, participants included, to the Games alongside its partners, the MOD.
Team Captain, Lieutenant Commander James Rogers, is returning for his second Invictus Games after competing in cycling and swimming events at The Hague in 2022. James lives with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a long-term autoimmune inflammatory arthritis condition, which affects his mobility, causing full-body pain and chronic fatigue. He returns to the Games hoping to build on his experience of 2022 and to continue to be an inspiration to his family.
A few years ago, I couldn’t go to the park with my kids, so I want to show them what I’m able to achieve now. Representing my country, and the Armed Forces, and to top it all off, being selected as Team Captain is an absolute honour and privilege.
Lieutenant Commander James Rogers
The first Invictus Games was held in London and it has subsequently been held in Orlando, Toronto, Sydney and The Hague. Working in partnership with the MOD, the Royal British Legion is committed to funding and facilitating Team UK’s attendance at the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 and Vancouver and Whistler in 2025.
The RBL is very proud to support Team UK as they head to the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf. The camaraderie and confidence that sport provides plays an important role in recovery, and we understand that everyone's journey is unique to them, and the RBL are here to help.
Royal British Legion’s Executive Director Services
Access to adaptive sports and the opportunity to participate in the Invictus Games is just one way the RBL supports the wounded, injured and sick community. Adventurous training and theatre and art programmes are also offered to assist each individual on their recovery journey.
James joined the RAF in 2018 but found himself tripping on his left side during basic training and experiencing severe headaches and vertigo. Later, an MRI scan found brain lesions indicating he had Multiple Sclerosis.
Not allowing this to stop an exciting and fulfilling career in the RAF, James was able to retrain as an Air Intelligence Analyst.
When it came to applying for the Invictus Games, I wanted a new challenge and new opportunity to help me keep motivated and driven. I have always loved sports, especially cycling, and Invictus provided that chance to see what I could do, meet top coaches and speak to other people going through similar health issues to myself.
My confidence after the taster sessions has already been boosted and it’s a massive honour to represent my country on a world stage. I cannot wait to be part of the Invictus and beyond the games I hope to really take my own experience and help it to support others and inspire those who may be struggling.
- Indoor Rowing
Stacey Denyer is a Flight Sergeant at RAF High Wycombe, due to leave in June 2023 following 19 years of service.
She began competing for the RAF at powerlifting competitions in 2015, squatting weights of 100kg. However, Multiple Sclerosis and osteoarthritis causes her knees to give way and Stacey now struggles to pick items off the floor.
Stacey was inspired to take part in the Invictus Games to test her limits and see what she can achieve.
Since the training camps, I’ve found something to focus on again, and I’ve got back into powerlifting too. Seeing as I can’t squat anymore, I’ve found a new love for weights in the form of bench-pressing. It’s not something I thought I’d ever compete in, but I’ve really got my motivation back again.
- Indoor Rowing
David Moncrieff is a Chief Technician as a RAF Mechanical Engineer, having completed fourteen tours of Afghanistan, three tours of Iraq, and worked with the Chinook Display Team for two seasons.
Living an active lifestyle, David discovered a passion for horse-riding. However, whilst training for the RAF Riding Championships, he was thrown from his horse and suffered a complex Spiral fracture to his Tibia and Fibula.
David developed acute compartment syndrome resulting in an emergency fasciotomy to save the leg. Yet, this does not stop him and after meeting a former Invictus competitor, David applied for the Invictus Games 2023.
I want to prove to myself and to my son and family that yes, I might have a leg that doesn't really work very well, but it's not going to stop me.
- Table Tennis
- Wheelchair Basketball
Flight Lieutenant Mike Evans joined the RAF in 1999 as an Aircraft Engineer, working with the Red Arrows and Chinook helicopters as well as the Nimrod MR2 and the Sentinel aircraft. He went on to the RAF Police and is now a member of Directing Staff with the RAF Officer Training Academy, at RAF Cranwell.
In 2021, Mike developed tinnitus in his right ear and was referred for an MRI scan, revealing a large brain tumour. Surgery left him completely deaf in his right ear and caused some nerve damage, affecting his balance and coordination.
Mike attended virtual martial arts classes with his son whilst recovering during Lockdown. Sport has improved Mike’s self-esteem and confidence in his abilities and The Invictus Games 2023 will be his next opportunity to challenge himself within a team of like-minded people who have also overcome personal challenges.
Robert "Bob" Grantham
- Indoor Rowing
Corporal Robert "Bob" Grantham is an RAF Aircraft Maintenance Technician, working on Puma helicopters as part of 33 Squadron at RAF Benson.
Robert injured his ankle during an Ironman triathlon event in 2021. He continued to complete an ultra-marathon event and was later diagnosed with a fractured tibia and ligament damage as well as a Ganglion Cyst at the site of the ligament sprain. The RAF rehabilitation instructors and physios have helped Robert to his recovery.
Robert witnessed a rocket propelled grenade pass the front of his aircraft, leading to some PTSD for which he has received counselling and says has improved as a result. Robert says being able to speak to fellow Invictus participants who understand his experiences has further improved his mental wellbeing.
Being part of Team UK means a huge amount to me. Now I have the goal of getting to the Invictus Games and being the best I can, it’s given me extra motivation to improve my swimming and to keep going to the gym to do my rehabilitation work. This was just the push I needed to keep improving and increasing my belief that I can do it. Hopefully, through my experiences I can help other people dealing with injuries and show that you can still push yourself and achieve a lot. The biggest thing for me is knowing that just because I have an injury it doesn’t stop me doing what I want to do.”