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Alison happy to serve her country again


By John Lavery


Former serving soldier, Alison Waddle, is one of two army veterans from Lincolnshire who will be competing for their country in a major sports event for injured and sick servicemen and women.

Alison Waddle, 44, who lives in Stamford and formerly served with the Royal Artillery, damaged her back while playing rugby for the Army in 2005.

Her injury got progressively worse until she medically retired in 2013. By then, she had also developed depression.

She and David Parker, of Lincoln, are among 40 veterans and service personnel who have been selected by military charity Help for Heroes to represent the UK at the 2018 Warrior Games, which take place in the USA in June.

The athletes will be competing in the 2018 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games from June 1-9 in Colorado Springs.

Approximately 265 service members and veterans representing the various branches of the US Armed Forces, the UK Armed Forces, Canadian Forces and the Australian Defence Force will participate in the competition.

The UK team, which is supported by Help for Heroes, will take part in nine adaptive sports: athletics, archery, cycling, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, shooting, swimming, powerlifting and wheelchair basketball.

Alison, who will be competing in sitting volleyball and swimming, said taking part is an "amazing opportunity".

She said: "Because of my injury, I can't remain in one position for long periods of time so have to plan my days in advance and pace myself to make sure that I don't over-exert my back.

"Being selected has improved my self-confidence and proved to me that my body is still capable of more than I previously believed.

"It is also beneficial to maintaining my mental health and, by being part of a team again, encouraged me to challenge my fear of letting people down."

Martin Colclough, head of sports recovery at Help for Heroes said: "Not only does it help physically, sport empowers veterans and provides huge psychological benefits too.

"The Warrior Games provide the opportunity for these men and women to proudly serve their country again and have a second chance at life."



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