FORCES charity Help for Heroes is to support nine athletes at the Winter Paralympic Games.

The charity, which supports injured servicemen and women, announced at Tedworth House in Tidworth on Friday that it will support the nine athletes, enabling them to be part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme (PiP).

The programme, which is run by the British Paralympic Association (BPA), gives aspiring Paralympians the opportunity to experience the unique environment of the games.

This will be the first time that this number of wounded servicemen and women have been included in the BPA's programme.

Help for Heroes and the BPA hope that by providing learning opportunities and experience at the Paralympic Games in Sochi in March it will demonstrate to military athletes what can be achieved through sport.

Martin Colclough, head of sports recovery at Help for Heroes, said: “It is our hope that this experience will inspire our PiP athletes to dedicate themselves to their training in order to achieve their dreams of competing in future Summer or Winter Paralympic Games.

“A Paralympic athlete Help for Heroes supported, Jon-Allan Butterworth, was given the opportunity to attend a Help for Heroes funded Paralympic sports camp in San Diego in 2008. He then went on to win three silver medals at the London 2012 Games. Clearly these inspiration programmes work and achieve great results. We can't wait to see what heights our new Paralympic Inspiration Programme athletes achieve in the future.”