What do St. Andrew’s Cadets have in common with a prince, a rock star, and a president? They’ll all be at the Invictus Games, an adaptive sporting event for injured, ill, and wounded servicemen and women and veterans, established by Prince Harry.
The Games are set in Toronto later this month when the third Invictus Games pits 550 athletes from 17 nations in eight days of competition.
Our Cadets will be front and centre at the Opening Ceremonies on September 23. “St. Andrew’s boys will lead each country’s team into the Air Canada Centre,” says Major Brian McCue, Commanding Officer of the #142 Highland Cadet Corps at St. Andrew’s College. “We need 17 Cadets for that role.”
The boys will be resplendent in full dress scarlet tunics and Gordon tartan kilts.
As well, St. Andrew’s will provide a “30-man Honour Guard during the playing of O Canada,” says Maj. McCue.
The two-hour Opening Ceremonies on September 30 will be headlined by Mike Myers, named the Official Ambassador to the Invictus Games Toronto, and include performances by Sarah McLachlan and Alessia Cara, among others. Former U.S. president Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the Games to pay tribute to his country’s wounded warriors.
The Closing Ceremonies features the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, and Bachman & Turner. Also featured will be 17 St. Andrew’s Cadets serving as team flag bearers during the Parade of National Flags.
Maj. McCue was been working behind the scenes since early this year to secure a place for our cadets to participate in the star-studded ceremonies that bookend the sporting events. The Games honour the men and women who have put their lives on the line and in doing so, suffered life-changing injuries.
“When it was announced the Invictus Games was coming to Toronto I thought, how can we be part of this? I reached out to the production company in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies,” says Maj. McCue, explaining this is the same company that put on the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Paralympics.
In his pitch, Maj. McCue attached two photos: one a panoramic shot of the Cadets on Yuill Field, the other of our Cadets marching in formation on the ice in La Brier Family Arena.
Whether it was Maj. McCue’s persuasive networking (letting it be known Wind Ensemble was chosen to entertain at the London Summer Olympics in 2012, and the Pipes & Drums had been on tour in Holland in 2010 to mark the 65th anniversary of Liberation Week in The Netherlands), or the visual majesty of our cadets, the organizers were swayed to say yes to St. Andrew’s.
Maj. McCue was proud to announce the message came down from Brigadier General K. L. Woiden in Ottawa, who issued the Cadets an operations order to serve at the Games.
“I AM” is the motto of the Invictus Games, and this reflects the goal of competing not only against an opponent in sport, but against oneself. Maj. McCue shared that the St. Andrew’s Cadet motto for this month is “We Are Invictus,” a reflection of the College’s focus on helping boys become the best they can be, academically, artistically, and athletically.