Sheffield woman to represent UK at US Warrior Games
A South Yorkshire veteran is among 20 wounded, injured and sick military personnel chosen to represent the UK at this year’s US Warrior Games.
Having struggled to hold down a job in ‘civvy street’ due to her poor mental health, Caroline Buckle describes her selection as a “seed of hope and trust that has been implanted in me.”
The Department of Defense Warrior Games is currently being held in Florida, and will finish on June 30. Operations Command, United Kingdom Armed Forces, Canadian Forces and the Australian Defence Force are all participating in the competition.
Caroline had completed 17 and a half years with the Regular Army and the Reserves before being medically discharged in 2014 after suffering from PTSD, depression and severe anxiety. In addition, she snapped her Achille’s tendon in late 2008, which left her with no use of her toes on her left foot, nerve damage, and minimum feeling from her kneecap down. Her lower limbs ae put under so much stress as she walks that she now uses a wheelchair part-time. She will be competing in seated discus and shotput, road cycling, swimming, and para powerlifting.
After struggling to hold down a job due to the amount of medical appointments and depressive episodes, in 2018 Caroline was accepted onto the NHS Step into Health programme and now has a part time job as a medical HR advisor with Sheffield teaching hospitals. That, plus her inclusion in the Warrior Games squad, has made her much more optimistic for the future.
“I know it will be a safe, supportive environment to help me grow more as a person deep inside myself,” said the 39-year-old.
“My self-confidence is starting to grow. And I actually have moments of self-belief that have not been there for ten years or more.
“Sport is my way of handling things. When I began having problems with anger, I turned to sport to help me build a better future for myself. If I am having a bad day, the gym won’t judge me.”