An Australian squad of 40 inspirational athletes is preparing for the 2016 Invictus Games which will be held in Orlando, Florida from 8 to 12 May.
Assistant Minister for Defence Michael McCormack said the Invictus Games was an international adaptive sports competition for serving and former serving wounded, injured and ill athletes which provided a vital opportunity to support their rehabilitation and recovery.
The squad includes 20 Australian Defence Force (ADF) athletes and 20 veterans selected by the Returned and Service League (RSL).
“Each athlete has an inspirational story of overcoming adversity and I congratulate each of them on their squad selection to represent Australia in Florida next month.”
Invictus means ‘unconquered’. It reflects the fighting spirit of our wounded, injured and ill personnel.
“The athletes have sustained a variety of physical and psychological injuries as a result of their current or former military service,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Invictus Games is a great opportunity for the ADF and RSL to demonstrate support for our ADF members and to recognise the important role sport can play in the rehabilitation process.
“I wish our competitors the best of luck at the Invictus Games. I hope the opportunity to excel in a sporting discipline combined with the overall team experience gives our athletes renewed confidence to face future challenges in their rehabilitation.”
The Invictus Games will see participants compete in 10 sports including swimming, track and field, archery, wheelchair rugby and cycling events.
Australia’s involvement in the Invictus Games is part of a broader adaptive sports program sponsored by the ADF and RSL in which current and former serving wounded, injured and ill members participate in a variety of competitions, primarily in the United States and Canada.
The Australian squad includes current and former serving adaptive athletes from all three services; three representing Navy, 31 from Army and six from Air Force.