Earlier this year, due to Covid-19, the Invictus Games Foundation and the Organising Committee of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, announced a postponement of the Games until 2021. We said that we would give a further update to our competitors and supporters by the end of May 2020, but, although we are firmly committed to delivering the Invictus Games in 2021, and a great deal of preparatory work has been done, we are not yet able to confirm the new dates.
We had hoped at the time of the decision that such a lengthy delay would bring us firmly out of the other side of lockdown, however nothing is certain in a world post-Covid-19 – and no matter how quickly we all want to return to normality, we have to be able to respond to any developments.
You will notice from the top of this letter that the logo remains as the Invictus Games The Hague 2020. In the interest of sustainability and practicality, we will continue to use this logo across all our materials and uniforms for the Games next year. More information on this will be shared in good time, together with the confirmed dates.
Since the rescheduling was announced, a lot of detailed work has been undertaken by the Organising Committee in scenario-planning for the next Games: what they might look like, and when there might be windows of opportunity for the Games to take place in 2021. This has been achieved in close liaison with many stakeholders, as well as through verifying the availability of critical resources and facilities such as the Zuiderpark and hotel accommodation.
We have continued to focus our efforts on dates in late May 2021 to early June but we have also extended the modelling out to dates in September 2021 in order to be best prepared for delivering a large-scale event in a post Covid-19 context.
We are now working hard on locking down a precise date to avoid any clashes in the diary now that the planning is in place and we have viable models for conducting the Games.
Throughout this process of review, the main priority has been keeping the competitors at the heart of this decision-making as they undertake their respective journeys towards recovery and rehabilitation.
As you are aware, the Invictus Games is different from other sporting events; events which may have already established a new date or find themselves now having to reschedule. The Invictus Games are, first and foremost, a recovery event. An adaptive sporting competition that provides an opportunity for the competitors to use the power of sport to recover from their illnesses or injuries.
This is done purposefully alongside their family and friends, who not only support the recovery journey of their loved ones but have a recovery journey of their own.
It is also done internationally. So that those that may have served together, or those that wish to represent their nation in a team once again, can do so in a multi-national context.
We know that this is best delivered by physically bringing the Invictus Community together so that the wider public can be there to show their support, and witness first-hand the incredible display of the Invictus Spirit, day after day, through sporting competition and comradeship.
To do all this requires a safe and secure environment that ensures that the competitors’ experiences and their recovery needs can be delivered, in the way that we all know and love from previous Games.
Much of what was originally planned to take place, we’re happy to say, remains in place. The plan is still to deliver an Invictus Games building on the same key themes of being as inclusive, compact, sustainable and as technically integrated as originally intended.
The event will still be based in the Zuiderpark, using largely the same resources and facilities.
However, those core components of what makes an Invictus Games so special are impacted by three key factors which we are monitoring closely in light of requirements for social-distancing:
- Future restrictions on mass gatherings;
- Future restrictions on international travel;
- and the viability of conducting team sports.
To do this, we are liaising closely with the leading authorities in the Netherlands including the Ministry of Health and Sport, and the City of The Hague. As well as this, we are monitoring international guidance from the World Health Organisation and other major sporting events including the UEFA European Football Championships and the Olympics.
We are also taking into consideration the views of the competitors and the participating nations to ensure that they have an ability to input into the decision and we have undertaken a series of international consultations with those affected.
So whilst we have made significant progress, we do not yet have the certainty to make a firm decision on the dates. We are well aware that there are people who are impacted by the decision to reschedule the Games, however our main focus is to ensure that the competitors and their recovery remain at the heart of any decision that is made. We are committed to delivering the Invictus Games in The Hague in 2021 and we will continue to work to achieve this.
We Are Invictus.
Dominic Reid, CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation
Conny Wenting, CEO of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020