A BLIND veteran from Dorset has been selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games.

Clare Keating from Poole will be competing in power lifting and indoor rowing for the UK at this month’s Invictus Games, the annual international sporting event for injured servicemen and women.

Clare will be the only vision-impaired competitor from the UK taking part at this year’s event on April 16.

She said: “I’ve been training hard and I’m feeling confident.

“The Invictus Games has helped me to believe in myself more and I’ve come on so far both physically and mentally.

“My children see that I’m walking taller and prouder, and they love it.”

Bournemouth Echo:

The 41-year-old joined the RAF in 2001 and served as a propulsion technician. To her heartbreak, she was medically discharged in 2007 after losing her eyesight due to punctate inner choroidopathy, a degenerative condition leaving her with no vision in her left eye and limited central vision in her right eye.

She said: “I was left devastated.

“I lost my friends, my home and my career. I found myself having to start again and I didn’t think anyone would want to employ me.

“I no longer felt part of society.”

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Five years ago, a friend of Clare’s had been selected to take part in the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, and Clare joined her at a training camp for the event.

“I met a fellow blind veteran at the camp and I was inspired. I realised I still had a lot to give and decided I would train for a future Invictus Games.”

Clare has no plans to rest after the Invictus Games and is already planning to take part in more power lifting competitions and a marathon.

She thanks charity Blind Veterans UK for helping her regain her confidence to be able to compete.

She said: “Blind Veterans UK has always been there when I’ve needed them and helped me to regain confidence in the activities I love."