The Veteran Games and Conference 2022 was held in Tel Aviv in Israel from 28 May to 3 June 2022 and saw some 200 injured veterans from the U.K. and Israel compete in a number of sports including cross fit, swimming and shooting held at Beit Halochem (Warrior’s House)
Competition for medals was tightly fought but Rebecca Halliwell-Coutts took 1 gold and 2 silver in the International women’s swimming heats , Rob Halliwell-Coutts taking 1 silver in water polo and Clifford O’Farrell taking 2 silver in swimming and water polo by the close of the Games.
Over the course of 3 days, the morning sessions were taken up with competition whilst the medic al professionals and subject matter experts held their conference, exchanging data on recovery research, mental health practices and the impact of veteran’s injuries on their families. The afternoon itinerary consisted of historical and sight seeing tours both in Tel Aviv and the surrounding areas including Jerusalem and the ancient City of David which was both important and beneficial in helping to better understand this complex and very much mis-understood country. An opportunity to really experience first hand what Israel has to offer.
The event will hopefully be repeated next year with more injured veterans taking to competitive sports, engaging with other countries and discussing experiences, recovery pathways and the way sport helps with mental and physical development. It is about re-discovering the camaraderie, a sporting ethos and a lost sense of purpose post injury, through sport. It allows us veterans to be gladiatorial by supporting each other, finding common ground, working together and developing international relationships.