Monday, June 16, 2014
Prince Harry was in Lympstone on Wednesday to meet competitors taking part in the Royal Marine rehabilitation triathlon
Competitors taking part in the Royal Marines rehabilitation triathlon at Lympstone on Wednesday were given a boost when Prince Harry called in to cheer them on.
The Prince spent the morning at the commando training camp, at Lympstone, where more than 100 competitors took part in the event, which had been organised by the camp’s physical training instructors for serving injured military personnel and veterans.
The event was supported by the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and Help for Heroes.
Prince Harry requested a private visit to the camp to meet competitors and learn more about the vital rehabilitation offered to those injured in combat.
The triathlon considered the physical restrictions of each competitor; who took part in an indoor swim at the camp’s pool, an outdoor cycle around Lympstone and Woodbury Common, plus an indoor rowing competition.
The competition was split into different categories - depending on competitors’ injuries - using adapted equipment.
Corporal John Richardson, of Plymouth-based 42 Cdo rehabilitation troop, completed the triathlon despite having severe osteo-arthritis in his knee.
He said: ‘’It was a great event for all those people like me who are recovering from combat and non-combat injury.
“It was a rare chance for Marines in the same situation to get together and find out how we are all coping from not being able to do our favourite sports and activities.
“I can’t run marathons any more, so I’m doing more cycling now; this triathlon was perfect.
“We were all supportive of each other, despite the competition. We were living off each others’ energy and enthusiasm.
“We have all got a big lift in morale levels from training for this event and having a new mission to aim for.’’
Sergeant Ryan (Mo) Morris, 32, the main organiser of the triathlon, said the event gave those taking part the ‘feel good factor’.
He said: “Rather than the mundane routine of just going to the gym, this was a target for them to achieve.”
Every Royal Marines unit was represented with competitors also coming from the Army and Royal Navy – plus contingents from the United States Marine Corps and from the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps.
US Marine Corps Colonel Willy Buhl, who brought a team, said: ‘’This was a fantastic event to come across the Atlantic for.
“Having Prince Harry take time out to support the guys and gals in the triathlon made them all feel extra special and worthy.”