BBC to broadcast inaugural Invictus Games

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The BBC has announced that it will broadcast extensive TV and radio coverage of the inaugural Invictus Games in September.

The Invictus Games sees wounded, injured and sick former service men and women from 14 countries compete across several sporting disciplines, which will be staged at some of the iconic London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from September 10-14.

Organised with the support and backing of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and the Ministry of Defence, the Invictus Games will receive daily live coverage across the five-day event on BBC One and BBC Two, as well on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 live.

In addition, highlights of both the spectacular Opening Ceremony and Closing Concert will be shown on BBC TV, as well as an hour-long documentary telling the inspirational stories behind some of the competitors.

Launched by Prince Harry earlier this year, the Invictus Games will use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country.

The nine sports at the Invictus Games are archery, athletics, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming and sitting volleyball, with athletes from the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand and the Netherlands, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan, all competing.

With support from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, iconic former Olympic and Paralympic venues on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will host events, including the London Aquatics Centre, Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark & Here East, with Athletics at Lee Valley Athletics Centre.

Highlights of the first two days of action will be broadcast on BBC Two, with live coverage on the Saturday on BBC One, before the sporting events conclude on the Sunday, live on BBC Two. Further TV details will be announced in due course.

On radio, BBC 5 live will embrace the Invictus Games with a special one hour programme on Thursday, September 11, as Eleanor Oldroyd and studio guests reflect on the first day’s activity from the Lee Valley Athletics Centre and discuss the incredible stories of several of the athletes involved.

A round up the latest games news and key moments will be covered daily in the Phil Williams Show from 10.30pm each night, while Radio 4’s Saturday Live will have JP Devlin and Aasmah Mir reporting live from the Invictus Games on the Saturday morning.

The events in September will mark the beginning of a legacy programme to support accessibility of adaptive sport and further employment opportunities for transitioning Servicemen and women leaving the Armed Forces.

Commenting on the BBC’s coverage of the first Invictus Games, Guy Freeman, executive producer at BBC Entertainment and Events, said: “We’re honoured to be the official broadcaster of the Invictus Games and to be able to share the inspirational stories of the service men and women competing in this inaugural competition.

“The sporting events promise to be action-packed and showcase some fantastic skills and moments of endeavour.

“While the ceremonies look set to be two incredible and enjoyable celebrations, that will also serve as a suitable tribute to all those who have given so much as they serve their countries.”

Sir Keith Mills, Chairman of the Invictus Games, added: “The Invictus Games promise to be a truly inspirational occasion and one not to miss.

“For the public it’s a unique chance to get behind those who have given so much but focus on what they can achieve, post-injury.

“The sporting action and atmosphere will be incredible and the BBC has unrivalled experience in bringing that into homes across the nation.

“We’re delighted to have them on board as the official broadcaster of the Invictus Games so that thousands more can share this memorable experience and show their support.”

For more information about the 2014 Invictus Games, visit the official website.

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