Wali Noori, a four-time Invictus Games gold medal winner has paid a special visit to a learning disability social enterprise, to be presented with a special achievement award by the Armed Forces charity, The League of Remembrance.
Wali, a translator and cultural advisor to the British Army in his home country of Afghanistan was blinded by an Improvised Explosive Device in 2009. Now resettled in Colchester, he started running with the support of Help for Heroes and All Together ambassador Gareth Gailey, with whom he completed the London Marathon in 2019. At today’s event, a ‘Certificate of Outstanding Merit’ was awarded to Wali by the League of Remembrance, to mark his outstanding achievement of winning four gold medals in the visually impaired 100m, 200m, 400m, and 1500m races at the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf Germany earlier this year.
Wali was presented with the certificate by Major Rob Thomas, Secretary of The League of Remembrance, at a welcome home event that included military friends, family, supporters, Level Best trainees, a Deputy Lieutenant of Essex, Lt Col Hugh Toler, DL, the Mayor of Colchester, Councillor John Jowers, and the Colchester Garrison Commander, Lt Col Ed Rankin.
Sharing his experience, Wali reflected on his personal journey and how the Invictus Games has impacted his life.
“The Invictus Games has changed my life dramatically.,” explained Wali. “Having a disability does not stop you from achieving, I waited five years to be chosen to compete in the Games, and I have now achieved my goal.”
“I always say life is full of tests, never ever surrender to your problems. If you fall, get up and try again. Try and try until you achieve. A disability is just something, it won’t stop you from achieving.”
Major Rob Thomas commented, “Organising this event was very important to the League of Remembrance. Our core purpose is to unlock opportunities for our Armed Forces community, particularly for veterans and their families, and supporting Wali delivers our intent perfectly. His performance has been exceptional, and presenting him with an award to recognise his outstanding achievement has been an absolute pleasure.”
Manager at Level Best, Alison Ling commented: “Hosting the welcome home event for Wali has been amazing. Meeting Wali and hearing his story has been brilliant for our trainees to see that disabilities do not have to hold you back from achieving your goals and dreams.
“Thank you so much to The League of Remembrance for choosing Level Best, it has been a real pleasure to host the event and share this incredibly special moment with Wali and his family.”