TORONTO, Nov. 8, 2017 /CNW/ - New public opinion research, by Maru/Matchbox and commissioned by the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organizing Committee, reveals that Canadians have a greater understanding of the challenges facing veterans returning from service following the week-long event in September 2017.
"With the Games still fresh in our memory and with the marking of Remembrance Day this weekend, this research demonstrates a fundamental shift in support for Canadian veterans and servicemen and women," said Michael Burns, CEO of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organizing Committee. "Remembrance Day is often associated with veterans of long-past wars and conflicts, but this research shows increased support for the 'modern-day' veteran, and those currently serving."
Support for the Canadian Armed Forces jumped to 64 per cent from 51 per cent, according to surveys conducted before the Games in April 2016 and July 2017 and then after the Games in October 2017.
An overwhelming majority (96 per cent) of residents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) said they believe that post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) is a significant issue for soldiers and veterans.
Other key survey findings
- Canadians now have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by veterans returning from service, with those who "strongly agree" more than doubling to 34 per cent since July 2017.
- Two-thirds of Canadians strongly agree that they support wounded veterans and the Canadian Armed Forces.
- After the Invictus Games there were significant increases in associations of injured service members with sentiments such as empowerment (+15pts), optimism (+14pts), power (+12pts), drive (+12pts) and transformation (+12pts) among GTA residents polled. Association with "sadness" decreased (-4 pts) during this same period.
- Ninety-two per cent of GTA residents polled said they agree that the Invictus Games can make a significant difference in the lives of veterans with physical and mental injuries.
- Nine in 10 respondents said they "do their part" to support veterans facing mental and physical injuries.
- In the GTA, awareness of the Invictus Games soared to 93 per cent after the Games, from eight per cent in April 2016. Eighty-nine per cent said they have a "very" or "somewhat" positive impression of the Games.
- In the City of Toronto, awareness reached 97 per cent following the Games, and nationally awareness shifted 84 per cent from five per cent.
- For more findings, see the research summary here.
"The Invictus Games are an inspirational event and a positive step in the recovery of our wounded warriors," said Team Canada competitor Joel Guindon. "I was able to experience the transformative power of sport as a competitor for Team Canada in 2016 and also be a mentor teammate in 2017. The support from the spectators was incredible and meant a lot to the teams from all nations. To receive applause when we got off the bus at the venues and hearing thousands of voices cheering us on at every event will stay with me forever."
In part, the Organizing Committee attributes the increased awareness and support to the broadcast, print and social media coverage around the world, which reached an estimated 2 billion people. It shone a spotlight light on the competitors, their personal stories and the friends and family members who support them.
The three surveys of 1,000 Canadian respondents were conducted by Maru/Matchbox.
About the Invictus Games Toronto 2017
The Invictus Games Toronto 2017, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, were an eight-day event that welcomed 550 competitors from 17 nations. At the forefront of the Games were the inspirational stories of its competitors; stories of determination, rehabilitation, the resilience of men and women who thought they had lost it all before they discovered sport and the Invictus Games. The 2018 Invictus Games will be held in Sydney, Australia.
Maru/Matchbox has been pushing the boundaries of customer intelligence since 2000, when they began disrupting the market research industry as the research arm of Vision Critical. Since then, their insight communities have broken new ground, adding depth and richness to clients' understanding of what motivates their customers and influences their markets. Now, as part of the Maru Group, they still operate many of the hundreds of insight communities that they implemented then, while also providing sector-specific consulting and research and in-depth qualitative insights.
The Angus Reid Forum (ARF), as part of the Maru Group, is a premier Canadian online panel with many features that differentiate it from traditional online access panels. Consisting of over 150,000 Canadians ARF is well represented across numerous demographics and consumer attributes.
The research, conducted by Maru/Matchbox using the Angus Reid Forum, was conducted both before and at the conclusion of the 2017 Invictus Games. The research compares findings from polling conducted in three phases: April 2016, July 2017 and at the Games in October 2017. The sample size for each phase of the research was n=1000 Canadians.
Michael Burns, CEO, Invictus Games Toronto 2017
"Starting just three years ago, the Invictus Games has become an international movement of support that we are thrilled that Canada embraced. From London in 2014 and Orlando in 2016, we were proud to carry on the tradition of support that Prince Harry and Ken Fisher showed to the wounded warriors and their families," said Michael Burns, CEO, Invictus Games Toronto 2017. "Canadians made their voices of support heard loud and clear from coast to coast to coast."
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence for Canada
"As November 5 – 11 is Veterans' Week, there is no better time to remember and honour our Veterans. The Invictus Games were instrumental in doing just that by highlighting the resilience and courage of our athletes. Our government, through programs like Soldier On, is proud to have supported our athletes at the Invictus Games. The Soldier On program is a catalyst for many Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans as it offers funding to help them engage in physical activity, which is an integral part of their recovery. It is inspiring to see the tremendous support from Canadians for our athletes. This week, we encourage all Canadians to express their gratitude and appreciation for our past and present Veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, their families and those who have given their lives in service."
Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Government of Ontario
"Hosting the 2017 Invictus Games was a privilege for Ontario. It is gratifying to know that the legacy from the 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games continues and contributed to the success of the Invictus Games. Witnessing people from across Ontario and around the world embrace the games has made it an inspiring and unforgettable experience. We will continue to honour the unconquerable spirits of the participants and their fellow servicemen and service women and build on the legacy of cooperation and competition that the that games left behind."
Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto
"I'm very proud that Toronto hosted these resoundingly successful Invictus Games. The Games are an innovative way to recognize the sacrifices of those who serve their countries and demonstrate our appreciation. I know that the spirit and abilities of the competitors made a huge impression on residents and visitors of all ages. Thank you for allowing our city to be a part of this great experience."
Lucas Melbye, Vice President, Public Affairs Research, Maru/Matchbox
"In all the polling we've done and things we've tracked, the Invictus Games 2017 has led to remarkable change, which is just so rare and encouraging. This event sets the bar for galvanizing positive popular opinion in a short period of time in Canada."
SOURCE Invictus Games Toronto 2017
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