Michael’s double medal haul at Invictus Games

Michael Mellon meets Prince Harry, who founded the Invictus Games.
Michael Mellon meets Prince Harry, who founded the Invictus Games.

Former RAF Regiment veteran Michale Mellon returned on Monday to his home town of Cardenden as an Invictus Games medallist.

The dad of three left Toronto with two medals – a silver in volleyball and bronze in wheelchair baketball.

He was also placed fifth and sixth in his individual sports of men’s discus and shotput.

Michael (37) was eligible to take part in the Games through his service as a senior aircraftsman in the RAF Regiment – which sadly ended when a serious injury in an RAF rugby match eventually led to him undergoing a voluntary leg amputation.

But now, just four years later, Michael has returned to sport, admitting it’s what helped turn his life around.

He said: “Getting back into sport has made a real difference to my life – I’ve gone full circle. My injury was sustained while playing sport. Now, just a few years later, it’s sport that’s helping me get my life back on track.

“The Games have given me a sense of belonging again. The camaraderie and the friendships I’ve made with like-minded people are a very important part of the Games. It’s like being back in the Regiment again.

“To come away with two medals is amazing. I am so proud of my team and it’s also given me a new-found confidence within my own ability.”

Michael said he owed a great deal to the Invictus Games and the charities which helped him get there, like the RAF Benevolent Fund.

It helped to fund a specialised wheelchair which had made a huge difference and helped “massively” during his rehabilitation, he added.

So what’s next? “Well, I want to spend some time with my family and take it all in,” he said.

“Then, my next focus will be the 2018 Games!”

Registration is already open for these Games, which take place in Sydney from October 20-27 next year.

Paul Hughesdon, director of welfare and policy at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “We are incredibly proud to see Michael’s successes at this year’s Games and, of course, winning two medals.

“ It is evident to see the rehabilitative nature that sport can offer and it’s so inspiring to see how far Michael has come since being medically discharged from the RAF.”