Invictus Games 2017 selection trials were conducted at the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, from 9-12 January 2017.
CAPTION: ADF and RSL members compete in wheelchair ruby as part of the 2017 Invictus Games selection trials, at the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra. Photo by Lauren Larking.
Thirty one ADF and 46 RSL veterans vied for a spot in the training squad, to be further reduced to an Australian team of about 40 members.
Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sports competition for serving and former serving military personnel who have been wounded, injured or become ill during service to their country.
The games were created in 2014 by Prince Harry to assist service personnel in their recovery and rehabilitation.
They use sport to inspire recovery, support and rehabilitation to wounded, injured and ill military and ex-military personnel and to generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country.
Invictus Games 2017 will be held in Toronto, Canada, from 23-30 September – followed by Sydney from 18-29 October 2018, with over 500 competitors from 17 nations taking part.
Prince Harry explained why the Sydney bid won the rights for 2018.
“We had three key criteria. First, it had to be an iconic city – somewhere known the world over.
“Second, it needed to be a city with a proud military heritage, which would welcome competitors from all over the world with open arms.
“And finally, we wanted to go somewhere where they are absolutely sports mad and would really get behind our competitors.
“It was an easy decision really.”
Invictus Games Ambassador and competitor, and Paralympic gold medallist Sapper Curtis McGrath was delighted at the announcement.
“I’ve been lucky enough to compete in two Invictus Game.
“Having the chance to stand alongside fellow wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women is something I never take for granted.
“I can’t wait for the Invictus Games to come to Sydney in 2018 and to show the world what Australia and Australians are made of.”