Injured soldiers take on Dakar
DOING THE UNTHINKABLE: The team of injured servicemen which will take part in the formidable Dakar Rally.
Race2Recovery, a group of severely injured soldiers aiming to become the first disability team to complete the Dakar Rally, has been awarded the first ever grant from the Endeavour Fund, set up by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, it was announced on November 9, 2012.
The Endeavour Fund was created to enable more wounded and injured servicemen and women to take part in expeditions and sporting challenges as part of their recovery.
Race2Recovery, sponsored by Land Rover, is a rally team racing to inspire those who are injured, disabled or facing adversity by being the first team of predominantly injured servicemen to complete the formidable Dakar Rally in South America, January 2013. The team, whose motto is “beyond injury – achieving the extraordinary”, consists of injured servicemen, former soldiers, sailors and airmen, and also people with no military background.
Through its racing activity, Race2Recovery has committed to raising money for a charitable cause close to the hearts of its team members – the Personnel Recovery Centre at Tedworth House.
At the launch of the Fund earlier this year, Prince Harry said: “I am delighted that our Foundation is launching the Endeavour Fund. The Fund will support injured Servicemen and women in overcoming physical and psychological challenges with dignity, pride and determination. We must never forget the terrible price so many of our men and women in uniform have paid - and continue to pay - to keep us safe and free.
“My comrades-in-arms across the armed forces are fighters by definition, fighters by nature. The Endeavour Fund aims to reignite that fighting spirit, and inspire those who have served their country to go on and achieve great things.”
ABILITIES, NOT DISABILITIES
Captain Tony Harris, one of Race2Recovery’s rally drivers who is a below-the-knee amputee as a result of injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan, said: “The financial backing that the Endeavour Fund is providing will enable us to realise our dreams. Not only that, but the Foundation has recognised that our campaign goes further than just the racing activity, and that we’re aiming to inspire other people who may be injured, sick or facing adversity.”
Nick Booth, chief executive of The Royal Foundation, said: “We are extremely proud to support Race2Recovery by making the team the first recipient of a grant from our Endeavour Fund. The team is proving that, despite some of the challenges they may have faced individually, their lives are about their abilities, not their disabilities. We hope their actions continue to inspire people who may be facing similar challenges and we wish them well on their aim to become the first disability team to complete the Dakar Rally.”
The Dakar Rally is considered the ultimate driving, mechanical and navigational test with only 40% of all competitors completing the course. The 2013 Dakar will start in Lima, Peru on January 5 and finish, via Argentina, in Santiago, Chile on January 20.