His Royal Highness Price Harry has announced that Orlando, Florida, will host the 2016 Invictus Games from 8 to 12 May.
Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert today welcomed the announcement, saying last year’s Invictus Games was a source of inspiration for our wounded, injured and ill personnel.
The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport competition for serving and former serving wounded, injured or ill military personnel. The 2014 Invictus Games in London attracted more than 400 athletes from 14 countries including Australia.
“Our team did Australia proud,” Mr Robert said.
“Many of our athletes overcame significant challenges to compete in the UK and they exceeded their own expectations.
“I look forward to an Australian team competing in the United States next year.
“I anticipate the team will again include current and former-serving military members.”
During the next three months, the Australian Defence Force will conduct a series of sporting trials at various bases to determine who will represent their nation in Florida.
The final team line up will be decided by the end of this year.
Last year, Australia sent a team of 15 current and 21 former-serving wounded, injured or ill athletes to the inaugural Invictus Games. The athletes had sustained a variety of physical and psychological injuries during their military service. The team competed in a range of events including athletics, archery, indoor rowing, road cycling, swimming, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
Australia’s participation in the Invictus Games aims to build upon our involvement in other adaptive-sports competitions including the US Marine Corps Trials and the Canadian Forces Allied Winter Sports camp.
“Invictus means ‘unconquered’,” Mr Robert said.
“It represents the fighting spirit of our wounded, injured and ill personnel.
“Many of the Australian athletes returned from the 2014 Invictus Games with renewed confidence to face the challenges of their recovery programs, thus highlighting the value of adaptive sports to rehabilitation.”
“While the Australians returned from London with a total of 21 medals – which is an outstanding result, the true success of Invictus is measured in participation.”