Project RECCE Ambassador and former Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander, Jay Saunders, was able to announce on Friday 17 March that he has been selected for this year’s Invictus Games that will take place in Dusseldorf this September. Jay who is one of the Project COMEDY Ambassador team will be representing the nation in his beloved sport of archery as well as giving table tennis a go for the first time since he was a teenager.
“Let’s be totally honest,” said Jay “without the aid of Project RECCE and what I have gained from Project COMEDY, there is no way I would even have applied for the Invictus Games, let alone be selected. The covid lockdowns destroyed my self-confidence and amplified my agoraphobic tendencies. If it weren’t for learning and doing stand up comedy, I would still be trapped at home pretending that I was safe. But stand up has not only encouraged and enabled me to get out into the world, but it’s given me a new sense of value and the willingness to challenge myself once again.”
Jay has a long journey ahead to prepare for the Invictus Games over the next 6 months, including 5 specialist training camps up and down the country as well as training at his local archery club, RN South Coast Archers based at HMS SULTAN in Gosport. But that doesn’t mean that he’ll be putting stand up on the back burner during this training.
“I’ve come to learn how much I need stand up. Not only the joy of entertaining an audience, but it helps me manage and control my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Darkness can easily hit you when you suffer with PTSD. But in comedy, if it’s not funny, you throw it away. That is the power of stand up - fighting mental illness with fun and laughs. Plus, with the hectic training schedule I now have to follow, it makes sense to plan in some laughs and see the people in front of me have a great time.”
We’ll be posting updates about Jay’s journey to the Invictus Games and you can find out more about Project COMEDY by following this link.