By Angela Green
The team at Rutland Hall Hotel will be rooting for a local athlete at the Invictus Games following months of using the venue’s swimming pool as a training base.
Amanda Sands, from Oakham, has been using Rutland Hall Hotel’s leisure facilities to prepare for the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf, showcasing her extraordinary determination and resilience in the face of adversity.
As a former Army GP, Amanda has an impressive military background. Having joined the British Army in 2007 as a regimental medical officer, her service took her to various challenging environments, including treating Gurkhas in Brunei and completing three tours of duty in Afghanistan, where she was among the last medics to leave Camp Bastion in 2014.
However, six years ago, Amanda faced a significant health challenge when she was diagnosed with ALK-positive Stage 4 non-smokers lung cancer. Despite the odds, she refused to let her diagnosis define her. She found strength and purpose through sports and is now set to compete in five disciplines within the Invictus Games: swimming, discus, shot put, powerlifting, and rowing.
The Invictus Games, dedicated to wounded, injured, and ill serving and former military personnel, has become a source of inspiration and motivation for Amanda as she strives to stay strong and healthy.
Discussing her training journey, Amanda explained: “Sport is so important for improving both physical and mental health. It is perfect to have this facility on my doorstep as there are no other swimming pools locally. I am super grateful that I can use the pool at Rutland Hall; it has helped me get serious about improving my swimming technique.”
A key element of Amanda’s training regimen for the Invictus Games is her membership at Rutland Hall Hotel. As a leisure member, she has been committed to training and utilising the hotel’s facilities, including its impressive 22m swimming pool to enhance her swimming technique and overall fitness. Her final training session at Rutland Hall was showcased on Wednesday night’s BBC East Midlands Today show, where she can be seen having her final swimming session before the games and chatting to BBC correspondent Elise Chamberlain.
Joanne White, Managing Director of Rutland Hall Hotel, expressed her support for Amanda, saying: “Amanda’s dedication and perseverance is truly inspiring. Her story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the role that sports can play in one’s recovery and personal growth. Her journey from a cancer diagnosis to competing on an international stage is an inspiration to all. We are proud to be a part of her journey and to provide her with the facilities she needs to prepare for the Invictus Games. Her story exemplifies the power of sport in overcoming challenges, and we wish her the best of luck in Dusseldorf.”