RAF servicewoman Laura Powell has lifted a haul of medals at her first ever national games for injured and sick veterans.

It was a significant victory for the operations flight planner from Coate because she wasn't interested in the Invictus Trials at Sheffield until she was inspired by friends who took part in the Sydney Games last year.

Now, after winning four medals - bronze in the 100-metre run and the recumbent cycling, silver in the 200m run and a gold in wheelchair basketball in the trials - she is setting her sights on next year's games at The Hague.

Laura, who is based at Brize Norton, was diagnosed with a tumour after she broke her rib sneezing in 2014. She said: “I started out in the RAF in 2003, then through getting ill recently I became eligible for Invictus. I went to a trial weekend with a friend and I said ‘no that’s not for me’. It was too soon after surgery.

“My friend then went on to go to the Sydney games and won some medals, with other friends that I met along the way who were heavily involved and from seeing them succeed and telling their stories, I then went for it after my last surgery.

“The trials I went to is almost like a checkpoint. Through the whole application process, you have to tick certain boxes, get to certain checkpoints. The first was the paperwork , then it was a trial weekend. From there you were then eligible to do the Trials in Sheffield to then be able to go to the next checkpoint, which is another weekend, which will eventually lead on to the Hague Games in the Netherlands next year.

She said: “I wasn’t expecting anything, I’d had a month-long chest infection immediately before so I went with low expectations. I thought I was just going to go and do something. Day one, 100m, straight into the finals and I won the bronze. Straight away I hit that euphoria of ‘oh this is really exciting’ so it all started from my first event, the first morning. I then hurt my hip so the amazing staff there figured out the problem and worked their magic and then I did the 200m race that afternoon with my sore hip and got a silver medal.

“On day two day I did the cycling, we had a time trial which I mucked up because I didn’t take the handbrake off so I was fighting against that for the practice lap, but then when it came to the actual lap itself I got a bronze that afternoon.

“The following day I was playing wheelchair basketball. We played a league of games and our team got to the final and won the gold medal. I don’t think I could have done any more..”