A FORMER soldier from Caerphilly has been chosen to compete as part of the British Armed Forces team at next month’s Invictus Games.
Lewis Edwards, 26, of Aberbargoed, will join other injured servicemen and women in the pool at the games which are being championed by Prince Harry.
The former army private served with the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh for three years and started swimming two years ago after he lost his right arm to above the elbow in a car accident.
He will be taking part in the 50-metre breaststroke, the 50-metre backstroke, the 100-metre front crawl and the 50-metre front crawl at the games, which are held in London from September 10 to 14.
He said: “I can’t wait to compete, the atmosphere should be brilliant. It should be a big event and hopefully it will be getter bigger year after year.
“It’s quite an honour to be chosen as part of the British Armed Forces team.
“There are about 19 of us on the swimming team made up from serving army personnel to the RAF and veterans.”
The trainee gas engineer currently swims with the Caerphilly County Swim Squad in Bargoed and trains for an hour and a half each day.
He said: “I was four or five days away from the flight to Iraq when I had the car accident outside of camp — it was about seven years ago now.
“I lost my right arm to above my elbow.
“I started swimming, aiming for the Rio Olympics, and just missed out on the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
“It’s nice to be a part of the Invictus Games to raise the profile of injured servicemen — some competitors are still going through rehabilitation.”
The games will feature 14 nations and aims to generate a wider understanding for those who serve their country, including raising awareness of post dramatic stress disorder.
He added: “I picked swimming up quite quickly with my arm but it has been hard, especially with going away for competitions with two young kids.
“The fitness side has been challenging.
“My father has built a pool out the back for me to train in, complete with a hydraulic pump system to simulate swimming against the tide.”
For more information, visit invictusgames.org