The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 announced on Tuesday that they will fund a research study into the role of adaptive sport in the rehabilitation of ill and injured military personnel and their families, through a comprehensive evaluation of the competitors participating in the upcoming Invictus Games, which will be held in Toronto in September 2017.  The study will be performed by Dalhousie University and CIMVHR researcher Celina Shirazipour. 

The announcement was made at the 7th Annual Military & Veteran Health Research Forum, co-hosted by the Canadian Institute for Military & Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR), the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria. The Forum was held in Vancouver, B.C.

“The Invictus Games in Toronto provide an unparalleled opportunity to fill research gaps by allowing for the exploration of sport participation and its effects on the health and well-being of military personnel and their families in the short and long term.” said Shirazipour.

"I have experienced first-hand the healing power of sport, having turned to fitness after I was medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces after 15 years of service," said Bruno Guevremont, team captain for the 2016 Invictus Games Team Canada. "My hope is that this study provides fact-based proof -- beyond the anecdotal evidence -- of the benefits derived from participating in adaptive sport competitions, so additional sport programming can be made available for wounded and injured military.”

“By funding this study, one of the potential outcomes will be to demonstrate that the Invictus Games are more than just another sporting event; that they are a means of helping competitors overcome mental and physical injuries sustained as a result of their service,” said Michael Burns, Chief Executive Officer, Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organizing Committee. “Our hope is that these results would encourage further development of adaptive sport programs, therapies and events for ill and injured military personnel in Canada and internationally.”

Preliminary findings of the study will be presented at next year’s Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, which will be held in Toronto in September 2017, during the week of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.  The Forum will see hundreds of academics from around the world gather in Toronto to discuss recent studies related to health research concerning military, veterans and their families.

The Invictus Games were established by Prince Harry in 2014. They are the only international adaptive sporting event for wounded, ill and injured active duty and veteran service members.  Presented by Jaguar Land Rover, the third Invictus Games will welcome 550 competitors from 17 nations competing in 12 sports, including wheelchair rugby, swimming and, new to the Invictus Games this year, golf.