Wearside army veteran's medal success at Warrior Games

A Wearside hero has told of his pride after picking up two medals in a sporting competition for army veterans.

Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 8:00 am
Warrior Games bronze medalist James Holborn.

James Holborn, from Ford Estate, returned from the Warrior Games, in New York, with two bronze medals.

The 35-year-old was medically discharged from the army in 2005, three years after shattering his ankle when a parachute training exercise went wrong as he prepared to go out to Iraq.

The private was deployed to Iraq, but his time in the forces was eventually brought to an end because of his injuries and as he was suffering with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Competing in sports, though, has helped in his recovery, and he showed his talent by finishing third in the 100m and 200m events at the Warrior Games, while he also competed in the wheelchair basketball contest.

Charity Help For Heroes helped him to engage in sports, and his medal success in New York has provided another important step.

James, who lives with partner Jennifer, 31, and sons Callan Holborn, 11, and Jude Holborn, six, said: “Going out there for me was a help in my journey of recovery.

“To do as well as I did and pick up two medals was just amazing.

“It was also fantastic to be able to represent Team UK.

“One of the things that you miss when you leave the forces is that you’re no longer representing your country.

“To stand in America surrounded by hundreds of American veterans wearing the Union Jack was an amazing feeling.”

The Warrior Games is a multi-sport event for wounded, injured or ill-service personnel and veterans.

James – who was in the army for just short of 10 years – hopes to compete in next year’s competition, in Chicago.

And he will hope to continue to make Callan and Jude proud after they were so enthused by his success in New York.

He added: “With the time difference, I didn’t get much chance to speak to the children when I was away.

“I had only been catching them for about five minutes before they went to bed.

“To video call them and be able to show them the medals was just as big as standing on the podium for me.

“Every day since I’ve been back, they’ve been telling me how proud they are.”