After joining the KRH in 2002, Cpl Callum Nugent deployed on Ops TELIC 6 and 10 before becoming an expert in Driving and Maintenance on various platforms. In 2010, however, he sustained an injury that has lead him to the Invictus games...
When I was injured during a Regimental rugby match at Hudson Horse in 2010, I dislocated my shoulder, severely damaging nerves. Due to the type of dislocation and my labrum being damage I have had to have my shoulder repeatedly stabilised with pins four times since and I have had my Bicep Tendons removed. After that I had to have nerve surgery to my Bracial Plexus in an attempt to relieve pain and increase blood flow. All in all, I now only have 30% function in my right arm.
During rehab I then damaged my lower spine when a damaged price of gym equipment was broken and crushed me. This had lead to be being unable to elevate my left and I have considerable nerve damage.
When I attended Tedworth House (Help for Heroes) Recovery Centre I attended various courses and tried many different sports to see what was still possible despite my injury. It was during one these sessions that I was introduced to archery by one of the instructors and specifically how to use the bow using a mouth release tab. It took me a fair while to get used to it, but I was hooked by the challenge and precision and was soon firing arrows into the gold target centre from 15 metres range.
I felt my confidence shoot up straight away. Best of all I was beating other wounded soldiers who had the ability to fire with bow hands. Nothing more exciting than winning!
From there I carried on training and I was informed about the Invictus Games and it sounded like I could try and beat the best. I was worried about entering because I haven't been injured on a tour, but after speaking to a member of the Invictus Foundation they informed me it's not about injuries from tours but about recovery and service. Whether it's mental or physical, everyone can compete if they can get through the entry competitions.
I was thrilled, so I decided to enter into Archery.
I attended many archery training camps and the Invcitus Trials in Bath University where 28 novice personnel competed to make it to the team. Out of the 28 I was the only one to fire from a mouth release and it Was the first time I had fired outside as well so I was extremely nervous! To my relief I fired an astonishing round and came 3rd.
We had to wait for about a month now to find out whether we had made it to the team and we were due to be informed by email. I was so anxious on the day and my anxiety was compounded by the fact that my email didn't come through until the very last minute! It was definitely worth the wait and I was told that I was to be part of the team going to Toronto in September! There was a catch, however, I wasn't allowed to tell anyone until the unveiling at the Tower of London. So, after telling my wife, I had to keep very very quiet, despite my feeling to shout that I had made it and tell everyone I knew.
At the unveiling of the team at the Tower of London I was nervous as the media surrounded us, but it lead to one of the proudest moments of my life; being on TV as a UK Invictus games athlete and my daughter got to watch me.
KRH Association and serving members of the regiment.