Two Exmouth athletes in action at the 2018 Invictus Games

PUBLISHED: 10:51 20 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:51 20 October 2018

The team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

The team of 72 competitors selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

UK MOD Crown Copyright 2018

Two Exmouth athletes will be in action during the Invictus Games which get underway this weekend in Australia.

Hannah Poppy Pawsey will be taking part in archery, swimming and sailing while David Watts will be involved in the swimming and the archery.

For 31-year-old Poppy, the 2018 Invictus Games is about going one step further than before and making constant improvements.

She says: “For me, Invictus Games is all about developing and pushing yourself to achieve goals that you never thought possible. Throughout the Invictus Games 2017 this is what I did - and I achieved more than I ever imagined.”

The former Royal Marines musician, from Exmouth, hopes that the 2018 Invictus Games will help her to lead and guide others on their recovery journey, and inspire them to feel part of something great.

Poppy says: “This year is all about a journey to being a fitter, better, stronger Poppy. Someone who can inspire others to believe that they too can achieve their dreams.

“I have got my strength and smile back and now I want to help others who are in the same position I was in last year.

“This is the next stage of my journey and it is extremely exciting and positive.”

Swimming and archery have helped David cope with his traumatic experiences from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The former Royal Marine Colour Sergeant describes swimming as his ‘safe haven’ and he believes being around individuals that are going through the same challenges as he does will not only help in his own recovery, but it may also help them too. David was medically discharged earlier this year and is using sport to aid his transition to civilian life.

His next goal is to compete in an Iron man to, as he says, “Prove to myself that I can still do it!!”

David’s injury is permanent, but he recognises the need to look after both his physical and psychological fitness, not just for himself, but also for the sake of his family.

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