Sunday, 7 February 2010

Battle Back: Exploiting Adventurous Training to speed recovery

Battle Back is a UK military initiative which uses Adventurous Training (AT) and sport in the aftercare of seriously injured Service personnel in order to aid their rehabilitation and return to an active life post rehab.and not a charity.
Launched on 28th July 2008, it is now well into its second year. The project is based on the work of Sir Ludwig Guttmann who back in 1948 created the first Stoke Mandeville Games specifically for WW II veterans with spinal cord injuries. Guttmann believed that sport was a vital part of therapy, a radical concept at the time, that helped individuals develop physical strength and self-respect.

The name "Battle Back" was coined in 2007 by a team looking at whether the British military could once more utilise existing sport programmes as an aid to rehabilitating the wounded. By incorporating the principles of Adventurous Training - the use of challenging outdoor activities and controlled exposure to risk to improve courage, leadership, fitness and team spirit - Battle Back provides a holistic view of rehabilitation through re-integration into a wider range of militarily relevant activities. It is a programme for all injured Service personnel, irrespective of how they were wounded, and complements the work done by the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court, Regional Rehab Units (RRUs) and Units with Platoon- or Company-level Recovery Teams.

Battle Back is important:

  • because it provides seriously injured Servicemen the same Adventurous Training and Sport opportunities as their able-bodied colleagues;
  • because the Armed Forces have a moral obligation to ensure that the aftercare of their wounded is of the highest possible standard; and
  • because when first coming to terms with a life-changing injury, it is essential to understand what can be achieved - by focussing on ability rather than disability - which is vitally important for physical, psychological and social rehabilitation.