Invictus Games

Club Peloton

13th April 2022: Team UK photo for The Invictus Games, The Hague 2020 accompanied by the team, the drivers and South East Managing Director of National Express Transport Solutions.

Background 

“The Invictus Games is a powerful demonstration of the dedication our men and women displayed when they served our country.”

The Invictus Games have been a staple international sporting event since 2014 when the games were first held in London. Since London 2014, the Games have been held in Orlando, Toronto, and Sydney.

Originally due to take place in May 2021, the Invictus Games was rescheduled for April 2022 and held in the Hague, Netherlands.

The Invictus Team UK attended alongside 18 other nations to compete in sports such as seated Volleyball, Wheelchair Basketball, and Athletics. National Express Transport Solutions had the privilege to be the team’s Official Transport Partner.

This partnership involved providing team and family transport to the games, operated by The Kings Ferry, part of National Express Transport Solutions. It was a pleasure to take a step further and support the Armed Forces in addition to the covenant pledge introduced in 2013.

“National Express Transport Solutions/King’s Ferry has been an amazing addition to the sponsorship programme of Invictus UK. They came to our rescue and helped Team UK to get to the Hague safely and efficiently.

Since the beginning, they’ve stood by our partnership and demonstrated enthusiasm, creativity, and great professionalism. The team is lovely to work with and they offer a great deal of fun too! At Help for Heroes, we look forward to continuing the good work with them!”

Rébecca Santoni, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Help for Heroes

Our transport solution

The Help for Heroes team approached National Express Transport Solutions with a travel requirement for transporting passengers to and from the Hague, Netherlands where the games were taking place.

Soon after, a partnership opportunity was agreed whereby National Express Transport Solutions would become the Official Transport Partners for Team UK. On the 14th April 2022, 6 coaches, with 2 drivers onboard each, set off from Brunel University at staggered times for the drive through the Eurotunnel over to Calais, then on to the Netherlands.

Of the 228 passengers, The Team UK consisted of 58 competitors, each of whom had 2-3 family members travelling alongside them. Staff from lead organisers, Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion were also transported to the Hague, as well as staff luggage and sports equipment.

Three luggage vans were included in the hire to transport Team UK’s various sporting equipment to and from the games. On the 23rd April, after the completion of a successful competition, Team UK began their return journey from the Invictus Games to Brunel University.

“My coach journey with National Express Transport Solutions was amazing. It gave Team UK and I time either side of the Invictus Games to sit, relax and unwind without any additional worry. Our drivers were professional and approachable, which set a positive mood for the entire trip. We all felt at ease and spent the time having a good laugh when we weren’t asleep!”

Rachel Williamson, Team UK Captain

Environmental Impact

The coach hire involved 6 coaches operated by The Kings Ferry travelling 476km per single journey from Brunel University to The Hague on 14th April. With a total of 228 passengers. Then repeating this journey for the return on 23rd April.

The environmental impact of having The Kings Ferry operate this partnership has resulted in the following:

36 tonnes of avoided emissions (CO2) versus car (average of both Diesel and petrol car)
Over 23 tonnes of avoided emissions (CO2) versus Hybrid Car
Over 2 tonnes of avoided emissions (CO2) versus Electric Car
Over 2 tonnes of avoided emissions (CO2) versus National Rail

These figures highlight the positive environmental impact of hiring a coach for overseas travel in comparison to other modes of transportation.

“I am incredibly grateful to National Express Transport Solutions for coming on board (at late notice as a result of COVID) to be Invictus Team UK transport partner for The Hague 2020.

National Express Transport Solutions were incredibly responsive to some of the unique demands of transporting equipment for this event (not just wheelchairs and bikes but those that are modified for adaptive sports!).

Everyone at National Express Transport Solutions, Senior Leaders and Drivers alike, couldn't have been more supportive of Team UK - competitors, staff, and families.

What I really liked, was the passion and engagement shown throughout their organisation in supporting Team UK and in their employment of those who have served in the Armed Forces.”

Helen Helliwell, Invictus Chair

Disclaimer

Greenhouse gas emissions are expressed in Carbon Dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per passenger kilometre (km). g CO2e = grams of Carbon Dioxide equivalents. g CO2e/passenger km for the modes of transport shown above are:

33.5 g - Coach
43.1 g - National Rail
43.4 g - Electric Car (1 person)
195.2 g - Diesel Car (1 person)
206.0 g - Petrol Car (1 person)

Source data for the different modes of transport is from the DfT and can be found on the government website in table ENV0701 at:
www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/energy-and-environment-data-tables-env

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