Submariner from Bedford selected for Team UK at Invictus Games in Canada

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Nisar Utmanzai from Bedford has been selected to join Team UK at the Invictus Games in Canada in 2025 – the first Games to include winter sports.

He has been named as part of a 64-strong team of wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans by The Royal British Legion, in partnership with the MOD.

The team includes participants from all services who have been selected on the basis the Games will contribute towards their recovery.

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Nisar, 26, said: “It is unreal to have been selected, I didn’t take it in at first, it’s fantastic and now I’m really looking forward to it.”

Nisar Utmanzai from Bedford will be competing at the Invictus Games in Canada in 2025 – the first Games to include winter sports.Nisar Utmanzai from Bedford will be competing at the Invictus Games in Canada in 2025 – the first Games to include winter sports.
Nisar Utmanzai from Bedford will be competing at the Invictus Games in Canada in 2025 – the first Games to include winter sports.

Nisar answered the call to serve his country after seeing a billboard in Bedford urging Muslims to join the Royal Navy. After completing his studies in Mechanical Engineering and Electronics, he applied. Nisar even learned to swim in order to successfully enrol as a Weapons Engineer

Submariner, maintaining the firepower and defensive technologies of Royal Navy submarines.

But within months of arriving at HMS Raleigh, Engineering Technician Nisar suffered a rare brain bleed which left him in a coma for several days over Christmas 2022. Despite issues with balance, coordination and stuttering speech, Nisar fought his way back and has since returned to work with the Navy.

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Nisar’s Recovery Officer advised him to apply for Team UK. Nisar added: “My hand-eye coordination has been massively degraded since the injury, and that is one of the main things I want to improve. The Games will help to prove to both myself and the Navy that I am an asset, despite the setbacks I’ve endured.”

Nisar will compete in skiing and wheelchair rugby following his selection for Team UK.

Established in 2014 by Prince Harry, the Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event for wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans to participate in as part of their recovery journey.

The Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 will take place from February 8 to February16. The Games utilise the power of sport to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation, showcase the fortitude and resilience of military personnel and their families, improve respect and understanding for those with disabilities, and those who serve or have served their country.