|29 May 2022|
The second Veteran Games and Conference took place in Israel in May 2022. The Veterans Games 2022 brought together 160 injured UK military veterans and family members with a similar number of injured Israeli army veterans for 5 days of sporting competition taking place at the Beit Halochem centre Tel Aviv. Alongside the competition the participants also enjoyed a varied social and cultural programme. This experience gave the veterans the opportunity to spend time with their families whilst providing them with a unique insight into Israel’s rich culture and history.
As in 2019, a conference was held alongside the Games; an integral part of the event, the conference brought together leading experts from the UK and Israel to discuss mental and physical health among the very severely injured veterans. These discussions explored the positive impact of sport in treating and supporting the recovery of those suffering with mental health injuries. These varied forums were led by the former head of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Sir Simon Wessely. In addition, the expert delegates had the opportunity to showcase related research and discuss policy issues of mutual interest.
The bringing together of wounded, sick and injured UK and Israeli military veterans and family members for a combination of sporting competition and social and cultural activities in Israel created an inclusive and collaborative atmosphere. These activities have proven to be hugely beneficial in supporting the ongoing recovery of veterans who have suffered physical injury and/or psychological scarring as a consequence of military service.
The opening ceremony welcomed UK veterans minister Leo Docherty, who hailed the project as an expression of the “amazingly close” bilateral relations in defence and intelligence sharing between the UK and Israel.
The UK team for the Games was made up of veterans affiliated to leading British military charities and rehabilitation organisations including the Royal Marines Charity, RAF Benevolent Fund, Rock2Recovery, Veterans Scotland, the Not Forgotten Association, SSAFA, Felix Fund, Blind Veterans UK and the Association of Jewish ex-Service Men and Women (AJEX).
The Games were funded by the Pears Foundation, Wolfson Family Charitable Trust, Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation, Exilarch’s Foundation, Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, Rachel Charitable Trust, Patron Charitable Initiatives Veterans Foundation and The Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation.
Next Veteran Games Programme will take place in Israel from 28th of May till 2nd of June.
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