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Opening ceremony honour for our Gaz

Times Echo and Life / All News / Opening ceremony honour for our Gaz
1 month, 10 days agoNo Comments.
14 APR

Opening ceremony honour for our Gaz

By timesecholife on in All News, Uttoxeter news

An East Staffordshire veteran is to have the honour of leading out his country’s team at an international event this year. Rocester veteran, Gareth (Gaz) Hennis has been chosen to represent his country in this month’s Invictus Games – he will be competing in the archery and powerlifting contests.

An East Staffordshire veteran is to have the honour of leading out his country’s team at an international event this year.

Rocester veteran, Gareth (Gaz) Hennis has been chosen to represent his country in this month’s Invictus Games – he will be competing in the archery and powerlifting contests.

The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans.

The Games, which are taking place in the Netherlands, use the power of sport to “inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country.”

Gaz, aged 39, who served in the RAF until a road accident in 2006, has also been selected to lead out Team UK, carrying the Union Jack flag, for the opening ceremony of the event.

Gaz’s mum Ann Mason explained: “When the Invictus Games opens in The Hague, in the Netherlands on Saturday, April 16, Gaz will be honoured to lead out Team UK carrying the flag for his country.

Gaz served in the RAF until a road accident in Cyprus, in 2006, left him with serious brain injuries, unable to eat, speak or move anything more than his eyes.

After nearly two years of slow progress in hospital, Gaz finally went ‘home’ and the next journey began.”

Ann continued: “Following sessions in early 2019, run by Help for Heroes, Gaz applied for the Invictus programme and was overwhelmed to be selected for Team UK.

He has since made huge strides in his recovery, with two postponements due to the Covid pandemic actually working in his favour.

He has been trained to walk with much improved posture, learned to run after 13 years unable to do so, greatly increased his strength and improved his symmetry when exercising.”

Ann added: “Having moved to Rocester last May, to be nearer to family, Gaz has had the garage converted to a home gym for training.

He also trains regularly with Burton Bridge Archery Club.

All this has lead to massive increases in PB’s for archery and powerlifting, the two sports in which he will be competing.

Gaz is now looking forward to travelling to The Hague with the Team, and friends and family, ready to challenge himself along with wounded, injured and sick veterans and service personnel from around the world.”

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