Invictus dream put on hold for Bonnyrigg soldier

Lance Corporal Sean Wiseman from Bonnyrigg.Lance Corporal Sean Wiseman from Bonnyrigg.
Lance Corporal Sean Wiseman from Bonnyrigg.
A Midlothian soldier, who lost a leg in Afghanistan, is staying positive and continuing his training, despite his chance to compete at the Invictus Games 2020 being put on hold.

Lance Corporal Sean Wiseman from Bonnyrigg, who was due to compete in the rowing events at The Hague this week, was one of only two Scots selected for the 65-strong UK team last October.

The 28-year-old has been supported in his training by forces charity Help for Heroes at their regular training camps and by his regiment 2 SCOTS at his Glencorse Barracks base in Penicuik.

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The Invictus Games, which was due to take place from May 9 to 16, have since been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lance Corporal Wiseman joined the army the week he turned 18. But weeks after his 2 SCOTS Battalion arrived in Helmand in 2010 he was blown up on foot patrol by an IED.

Doctors gave him the agonising choice of losing his right leg or years of work to rebuild both limbs – and he picked amputation.

The young soldier refused a medical discharge – and after a gruelling fightback was determined not only to continue his forces career but also to take part in competitive sport.

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He began his bid for the Invictus Games 2020 when he began to struggle with recurring mental health issues (PTSD) and saw the positive benefits Invictus had brought to a few of his injured friends, helping them on the road to recovery. He strongly believed participating would give him a focus, building his confidence and wellbeing.

Lance Corporal Wiseman said: “While I am disappointed the Games had to be postponed, it was the right decision. I am continuing my training and staying positive that an extra year of training will allow me to get even fitter and stronger.

“Focusing on sports helps me cope with my PTSD and boost my confidence. I hope that one day I can compete with able bodied people and prove to myself and other injured personnel that we are more than just injured and just as capable.”

More than 350 military personnel and veterans trialled nine sports for one of the 65 places on Team UK. The rigorous selection process was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.

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