Race2Recovery, the group of severely injured soldiers aiming to become the first disability team to complete the Dakar Rally, has been awarded the first ever grant from the Endeavour Fund, set up by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Endeavour Fund has been created by The Royal Foundation to enable more wounded and injured servicemen and women to take part in expeditions and sporting challenges as part of their recovery. The Fund will offer seed funding for new endeavours and will help emerging initiatives with advice, hands on support and mentoring.
Race2Recovery, sponsored by Land Rover, is a rally team racing to inspire those who are injured, disabled or facing adversity by being the first team of predominantly injured servicemen to complete the formidable Dakar Rally in South America, January 2013. The team, whose motto is ‘beyond injury – achieving the extraordinary’, consists of people from all backgrounds and walks of life; injured servicemen, former soldiers sailors and airmen, and generous people with no military background who have given their time and commitment to the endeavour. Through its racing activity, Race2Recovery has committed to raising money for a charitable cause close to the hearts of its team members, the Personnel Recovery Centre at Tedworth House in Tidworth, Wiltshire. It is one of five Personnel Recovery Centres that have been established as part of the Defence Recovery Capability. The Defence Recovery Capability is an MOD led initiative in partnership with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion to ensure wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women have access to the key resources they need as they recover. Race2Recovery has already raised well over £100,000 for the Personnel Recovery Centre at Tedworth House but has its sights set on achieving a much higher target.
At the launch of the Fund earlier this year, Prince Harry said, 'I am delighted that our Foundation is launching the Endeavour Fund. The Fund will support injured Servicemen and women in overcoming physical and psychological challenges with dignity, pride and determination. We must never forget the terrible price so many of our men and women in uniform have paid - and continue to pay - to keep us safe and free. My comrades-in-arms across the Armed Forces are fighters by definition, fighters by nature. The Endeavour Fund aims to reignite that fighting spirit, and inspire those who have served their country to go on and achieve great things.'
Captain Tony Harris, one of Race2Recovery’s rally drivers who is a below the knee amputee as a result of injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan, said, 'We’re absolutely delighted that, through The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have shown such considerable faith in the Race2Recovery project. The financial backing that the Endeavour Fund is providing will enable us to realise our dreams of becoming the first disability team to compete in the Dakar Rally. Not only that, but the Foundation has recognised that our campaign goes further than just the racing activity, and that we’re aiming to inspire other people who may be injured, sick or facing adversity. By helping us secure the immediate future of our racing activity, we now hope we can increase awareness of Race2Recovery and, in turn, increase our fundraising activity, directly benefitting our country’s injured servicemen and women.'
The four Qt Wildcat rally-raid vehicles that Race2Recovery will enter in the 2013 Dakar are based on the Land Rover Defender and share running gear and some external visual similarities. Several elements of standard Land Rover vehicles are retained on the Wildcat including engines, axles and some cosmetic parts. Fans and potential supporters of Race2Recovery can follow the team’s progress and make donations at www.race2recovery.com. For more information on the Race2Recovery campaign and how to support the cause, go to www.race2recovery.co.uk, click here for race2recovery