A FORMER RAF corporal from Abergavenny who twice recovered from cancer will represent Team UK at next year's Invictus Games.

Laura Powell, 33, said sport had helped her "get my spark back" after illness ended her armed forces career, ruining her motivation and self-confidence.

"Since my illness, I’ve been trapped in a vicious cycle but I feel that sport is helping to break it and push me along on my road to recovery,” she said.


Ms Powell is one of eight Welsh athletes named in Team UK for next year's games, which will take place in The Hague, Netherlands, in May.

The Invictus Games was launched in 2014 by Prince Harry as an international sports tournament for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans.

The games includes disciplines from athletics and powerlifting, to swimming and wheelchair rugby.

Ms Powell has set a high bar for her performances at next year's tournament.

“Given the opportunity to compete, I would have a reason above all others to work hard, lose weight and become the best me that I can," she said. "I want to be the fastest cancer survivor when running, the fittest cyclist, the strongest rower and the best supporter I can be, as part of Team Invictus Games 2020.”

She said the camaraderie of team sports had helped her on her journey to recovery.

“I love being part of a team, especially one that is passionate, patriotic and full of inspiring, like-minded people who are also overcoming huge barriers," she said. "I crave to be part of this type of team and cheer each other on with a shared sense of purpose.”

The 65-strong team of UK athletes was announced today, Tuesday, at the Honourable Artillery Company in London.

The athletes – 89 per cent of whom have never taken part in an Invictus Games before – will now undergo training camps with armed forces charity Help for Heroes, to ensure they are best prepared for the competition next year.

The other Welsh athletes named in Team UK are Rob Bugden, 34, from Sigingstone, Vale of Glamorgan; Jonathan Congreve, 57, from Gelligaer; Bruce Falkenberg, 42, from Maesteg; Ian Fisher, 43, from Haverfordwest; Nathan Huddy, 39, from Llantwit Fardre; Kelly Leonard, 41, from Aberdare; and Gwynne Walker, 33, from Brecon.