A FORMER air trooper from Caldicot is one of just six people from Wales to have been named as part of the UK's team at the 2018 Invictus Games.

Lee Matthews, who grew up in Caldicot, will form part of the 72-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel and veterans selected to represent the UK in Sydney this October.

The 29-year-old army veteran says the past year has been "the hardest time" of his life but that training has already helped him start to regain confidence.

He said: "The past year has been the hardest time of my life in terms of recovery.

"The deterioration of both my physical condition and my mental health resulted in my life tumbling out of control.

"I became hopeless, frustrated and angry.”

More hopefuls than ever before, 451 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialled 11 sports for one of the 72 places available on team UK.

Selection was based on the benefit the Invictus Games will give an individual as part of their recovery, combined with performance and commitment to training.

The trials were attended by HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in one of their last joint appearances before the royal wedding.

The team of 72 selected were unveiled at at Horse Guards Parade in London on Tuesday and were joined by Prime Minister Theresa May who posed with the athletes for the first official team photograph and wished them luck for the Games in October.

Mr Matthews added: "The Invictus Games has helped me already.

"Although training camps have proved very challenging and have caused a lot of anxiety, the process has already helped me start to build confidence again and push back against my mental health.

"I can’t wait to feel a part of something once again and be a part of a team, encouraging my teammates and my military family around me.

"To see them achieve and make them proud is just as important to me as giving back to those who have supported me.

"I have socialised, laughed, smiled and become more of myself than I could have ever imagined again."

The team, which will compete in 11 sports, will continue to train from now until October in various locations across the country as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme.