Army veteran honoured by council in run up to Invictus Games
News, Sport | Rhys Williams | Published: 11:00, Tuesday March 17th, 2020.
An army veteran set to compete at this year’s Invictus Games has been honoured by Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Jonathan Congreve, 57, from Gelligaer, was honoured during a full council meeting on Tuesday, March 3, where he was thanked for his contribution by Caerphilly County Borough mayor, Cllr Julian Simmonds, and Cllr Nigel George.
Mr Congreve will represent the UK in archery, swimming and rowing at the Invictus Games, which will be held in The Hague, Netherlands in May.
Mr Congreve signed up to the army in 1989 and served for 22 years, going on to become a staff sergeant with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
He suffered injuries and illnesses including cervical disc disease, osteoarthritis and bilateral tendinitis, which affects his hips and back.
He was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mr Congreve said sport and Invictus training camps have boosted his confidence and self-esteem, with his family describing him as being nearly “back to normal”.
He also said he feels part of a team again, and added: “The resilience they [his teammates] show in not letting their injuries define or restrict them, is really inspiring.”
Mr Congreve has been supported in his Invictus journey by the Help for Heroes recovery team, based in Treforest.
Help for Heroes recovery manager Shelley Elgin said: “Since beginning his Invictus journey, Jon has benefited from the camaraderie and support of our fellowship and sports hubs.
“We are delighted that Jon’s wife Debbie has decided to give back to the charity by volunteering her own time at our monthly fellowship events in Bridgend and Jon and Debbie are both valued members of the Help for Heroes family in Wales.”
Ms Elgin added: “Lisa Rawlings, Caerphilly’s regional armed forces covenant liaison officer, is a veteran herself, and has been a true champion of the men and women we support across South East Wales. Lisa has been instrumental in raising the profile of the services we deliver.
“Help for Heroes relies on the generosity of the public to support our work and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who takes time to volunteer to collect for us, hosts a sponsored event or activity to raise vital funds.”