About the Veteran Games

The Veteran Games and Conference is a programme that brings together 180 wounded, sick or injured UK Veterans and their families alongside their overseas counterparts. First conceived in 2018 and the inaugural event took place in the spring of 2019. The event proved phenomenally successful, so much so that the second event was held in 2022 and the third in 2023. The 2024 Games is scheduled from Sunday 26th May –Friday 31st May.

The VG is a 5 day event based around a sports competition between wounded, sick and injured veterans from the UK and overseas. This sporting element provides the focus, however, this is augmented and complimented by the inclusion of a full and varied social and cultural programme. Inclusivity and family are key to the ethos of the Veteran Games in recognition of the fundamental role played by sport and family in supporting the ongoing recovery of veterans who have suffered physical and psychological challenges as a result of serving their country. As such this event is the first of its kind. The inclusion in 2019 of Chelsea Football Club to run football coaching based activities for the children of the veterans was a particular success.

The event draws UK veterans from across the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines and is backed by leading rehabilitation and Armed Forces charities who have previously selected beneficiaries to compete, these include:  Rock2Recovery, Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, The Not Forgotten Association, The Royal Marines Charity, CombatStress, The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, Veterans Scotland, FELIX Fund, SSAFFA, Poppy Scotland, RBL Scotland and Blind Veterans UK. The programme also has the backing of Jonny Mercer MP – the current Minister of State for Veterans' Affairs.

The games bring wounded, sick and injured veterans, and the families of both the participating nations together. Both groups of veterans will already hold many common values and have encountered similar challenges in their personal and professional lives. By exploring their shared experiences, it is hoped that the veterans, together with their families, will take benefit from the sporting and social interaction on offer and form attachments based on mutual understanding. By sharing and learning from each other it is anticipated that the overall experience will have a positive influence and support continued recovery.

The competition element of the games has been designed to maximise participation. Inclusivity is the key and therefore all veterans are strongly encouraged to participate in the activities on offer regardless of experience. This approach is supported by the deliberate absence of ‘trials’ or any process of team selection. Every effort is made to ensure team selection across the activities is guided and based upon the ‘preferences’ expressed by each veteran.

The social and cultural programme that runs alongside the competition element has been designed to provide the UK contingent with the opportunity to sample a rich and vibrant culture, socialise with their overseas counterparts, and explore internationally renowned and historically significant locations and sights.

The Veteran Games initiative is funded entirely through the kind and generous donations of individuals and charitable foundations as well as from corporate sponsors.