Doncaster veterans return with medals from the 2018 Warrior Games

L to R:Veterans Jon Knott, Lisa Johnston, Michael Bates all competed in the 2018 Warrior Games
L to R:Veterans Jon Knott, Lisa Johnston, Michael Bates all competed in the 2018 Warrior Games

A trio of Doncaster veterans have returned home with medals from a major sports event for injured and sick servicemen and women.

The RAF veteran, former army medical technician and an ex REME soldier were among 40 veterans and service personnel selected by Help for Heroes to represent the UK at the 2018 Warrior Games which took place at the start of this month.

Jon Knott, 48, was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)in 2006 but continued to serve until his condition deteriorated and was subsequently reclassified as Progressive MS, leading to his medical discharge in 2014.

Lisa Johnston had to have her left leg amputated after two years of intense chronic pain following a knee injury during a Physical Training session.

Michael Bates, 31, severed his lower right leg in a motorbike accident in 2016 and, some months later, developed PTSD.

The athletes took part in the 2018 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games from June 1 to 9 in Colorado Springs. 

The UK Team, is supported and delivered by Help for Heroes.

Lisa competed in the discus, swimming, wheelchair basketball and seated volleyball and returned home with four medals – a Silver in seated discus, and swimming Golds in 100m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 50m backstroke at which she broke the Warrior Games record time.

She said: “It has really given me a boost. I’m now at the stage where I feel that I can try anything and give whatever it is a go, even if it means doing it in a way that works for me - Improvise, adapt and overcome”

Jon brought back two Silver cycling medals - a sport in which, thanks to Help for Heroes, he has gained a lot of experience in the past couple of years.

And while his limited mobility is the most obvious symptom of MS, Jon admits that his mental health has suffered since he was diagnosed.

“Not only does sport alleviate many of my symptoms, I have never been as healthy. Adaptive sport shows me what I can do and not what I cannot. It’s all about a positive attitude, to maintain a healthy well-being,” he said.

Michael competed in powerlifting, athletics, rowing and basketball, bringing home a Bronze in the 200m track race.

He said: “After my accident, doctors and physios told me I could no longer do sport. By training and finding new sports, I have proved them wrong,”