287245824 402030281971483 5741560975891163289 NA group of Veterans have gathered at UKSA in Cowes to start a week-long training programme in preparation for the Round the Island Race on Saturday (25th June).

Supporting Wounded Veterans, a UK Charity, work with UK servicemen and women who have been physically or mentally wounded to move forward from their injuries and assist them with both rehabilitation and getting back into employment.

Part of what they offer is ‘Sports Habilitation’, enabling service men and women to use sport to build confidence. This year, as in 2018, the Round the Island Race – in which they have entered 4 boats – is part of the Sports Habilitation Programme.

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On each of the 4 boats will be 4 veterans and a skipper, all of whom are ex-service personnel, with all living on the boat for the week as training takes place between Cowes, Yarmouth, Beaulieu, and the Hamble. The 4 teams will then test themselves against each other in a Supporting Wounded Veterans Regatta on Friday before the Round the Island Race takes place on Saturday. The ex-servicemen and women will not only have the physical test of sailing an ocean-going vessel to overcome – all the veterans on board have their own physical or mental challenges.

Supporting Wounded Veterans participation in the Round the Island race, has been made possible by the generous donations of The Veterans Foundation and The Royal Marines Charity.  BPL Global have sponsored the boats, and numerous donations have been made from their many supporters.

Joining the veterans again, is former RAF PT Instructure Sean Rose. Sean broke his back in a freak Ski accident in Feb 2000, confining himself to a wheelchair. However, that has not stopped Paralympian Sean, who is a successful TV presenter, reporter, and commentator with a long list of sporting achievements, including World Champion Water Skier, World Cup Gold Downhill Ski racer, and Winter X Games medallist.

On undertaking the Round the Island race with Supporting Wounded Veterans, Sean said:

”To see the difference to the veterans at the end of the week through challenges and experiences is phenomenal.”

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Helen – a veteran lead on one of the Supporting Wounded Veteran boats – said:

“The Round the Island race is a great opportunity to learn some new skills, meet some like-minded individuals and to have a bit of well needed support.”

Gilly Norton – founder of Supporting Wounded Veterans – has said:

“Having started with organising a Ski Week for Veterans in 2012, the charity has grown and developed many ways that we can support our UK veterans in becoming independent. Sailing is a great way to have to work as a team and overcome obstacles and – due to the fantastic support we have had from donors and sponsors – it is great to have been able to enter four boats into this year’s race.

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“It will be challenging for those taking part, the physical efforts of sailing a boat will put many to the test, but with a week of training, and socialising ahead, we look forward to the big race on Saturday.”

The four boats entering the race are named Victoria Star, Elizabeth Star, Adelaide Star, and Emerald Star and are all skippered by former service personnel.

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