Invictus Games: PE Resources

published on 18th September, 2023

The Invictus Games is not just about competition, but a celebration of courage and resilience. Born out of the visionary spirit of Prince Harry, this international sporting event brings together wounded, injured or sick military service personnel and veterans from over 20 nations.

The name ‘Invictus’ comes from the Latin word for ‘unconquered,’ a fitting representation of the spirit these games embody.

This year’s event, which was held in Dusseldorf earlier this month, brought together 21 countries and 550 competitors through 10 sports. These sports included wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, cycling, athletics and archery.

For primary schools, the Invictus Games offers a wealth of educational opportunities for the classroom!

Invictus Games lesson ideas and PE resources

Start by explaining the essence of the Invictus Games to your children.

You can share inspiring stories of athletes who have faced adversity head-on, demonstrating how determination and grit can lead to success, regardless of obstacles. Scroll down to find out more about stories of Invictus Games heroes!

Use these stories as discussion points, sparking conversations about the importance of not giving up in the face of challenges.

Below, we have compiled a list of Invictus Games-inspired lesson ideas. There’s also some useful PE resources that may help make your PE lessons a little more exciting for pupils!

Obstacle Course Challenge

This activity will teach perseverance and determination.

Create an obstacle course that simulates some of the obstacles athletes face in the Invictus Games. Incorporate elements like crawling under tables, navigating through hoops, and overcoming hurdles.

Invictus Games Day

Organise a special ‘Invictus Games Day’ – have children participate in mini games and activities that mirror the spirit of the event. Create an atmosphere of camaraderie, teamwork and celebration.

The PE Planning website offers Sports Day and Olympic Sports Day guides.  These can be used as guides.

You could use our PE Awards resources to recognise those who do especially well, or best reflect the spirit of the Invictus Games. For example, those children that show real teamwork, those who show genuine support for others, and those who show dedication to the games throughout the day.

Heroes of Resilience

Introduce children to the concept of resilience by sharing stories of the Games’ athletes. Discuss the challenges they have faced and how they refused to be defeated by them. Encourage pupils to identify and celebrate their own moments of resilience, fostering a growth mindset in the classroom.

You can find some of the stories of Invictus Games athletes here.

Adapted Athletics

Introduce adapted athletics by modifying traditional track and field activities. For example, your class could try some of the sports activities covered in the Games – not outside, but in the classroom (ideal as the autumn weather begins to take hold!).

For this, you could take inspiration from our classroom PE games resources.

Geography and global awareness

Explore the geography of the Invictus Games by locating the participating nations on a map. Discuss the cultural diversity represented and learn about the host countries for each edition of the games.

This can be a great way to introduce global awareness to children, who draw a picture to represent each country – and these could be presented in a display (see our Example Displays on this page).

Incorporating real events into PE lessons

Incorporating the spirit of real events into PE lessons, or staging themed PE lessons for children can create more excitement and lead to greater engagement. In many cases, it can be an opportunity to combine different topics into one lesson.

By incorporating the Invictus Games into your lessons, you not only promote physical activity but also teach valuable life lessons such as empathy, inclusivity, determination and teamwork. These activities will not only enrich your pupils’ PE experience, but also nurture their character.

If you need help with PE lesson planning, or have ideas for PE resources, we’d love to hear from you! Please do get in touch with our team and let us know your thoughts – and indeed, how your themed lessons go!