Former Corporal Stuart Robinson was on his fourth deployment in Afghanistan, when he was left with life changing injuries after his vehicle initiated an IED. Now just three years later, Stuart has been selected to represent the United Kingdom, for the second time, at the Invictus Games.
Stuart was on a routine patrol near Camp Bastion serving in the RAF Regiment with 15 Squadron, when his vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device. The IED detonated beneath his seat and Stuart's body took the full impact of the explosion resulting in 36 separate injuries and the eventual loss of both his legs.
As it had done during his RAF career, sport played a very active role in Stuart's recovery and it was during his time at Headley Court that he had access to a specially adapted mountain trike. The RAF Benevolent Fund was able to financially support Stuart in buying his own trike, which not only allowed him to play with his son but also gave him more independence. Trying out different sports and finding one that was not only enjoyable but that would aid his rehabilitation was where his true athletic career began.
In 2014, Stuart was selected to represent the United Kingdom in wheelchair rugby at the inaugural Invictus Games held in London, where his team won gold following a tense final match.
Stuart said: "To win a gold medal only 18 months after debilitating injuries proved to me that life does go on and I can continue to be a husband, a father and an athlete."
Since then, Stuart has been training intensely, actively working on his fitness preparing for the 2016 trials. Last month, Stuart received the exciting news that he would once again be joining the Invictus team and that he would captain the wheelchair rugby team, heading to Florida on May 4.
Stuart will join 110 other wounded, injured and sick UK military personnel and veterans as they compete in the second Invictus Games.
On receiving the news, he said: "I was over the moon. I thought the whole training sessions had gone pretty well but until I had the official confirmation I couldn't rest easily. Being told I had also been made the wheelchair rugby team captain was a massive highlight for myself and again proved that the power of sport was pushing me in the right direction in my long term recovery.
"It's a massive honour to be selected again. The first time was a bit of a shock and now this time I think I will be able to enjoy the whole atmosphere surrounding the games and meeting other injured servicemen and women who are on the same road to recovery as me."
Also accompanying Stuart will be his wife Amy and son, George. In 2016, the Fund once again supported the Robinson’s by partly funding major house adaptations to enable Stuart to live independently.