A team of 24 competitors from the Australian Defence Force and Veteran Sport Australia (VSA) will compete at the 2019 Warrior Games in the United States this month.
FILE PHOTO (2018): RAAF Flight Sergeant Ben Morgan (right), celebrates winning bronze in an Australian clean sweep of the cycle street race with (from left) silver medallist Jason McNulty and gold medallist Tim Grover at the Warrior Games 2018. Photo by Leading Seaman Jason Tufrey
Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said getting to the 2019 Warrior Games was an important milestone and significant achievement for the team, comprising 12 current and 12 ex-serving, wounded, injured and ill personnel.
“To compete in the US with so many allied wounded, injured and ill personnel will be hugely beneficial for all competitors as they continue their rehabilitation process,” Mr Chester said.
“Approximately 300 wounded, injured and ill serving and ex-serving members will be competing, including from the ADF, United Kingdom Armed Forces, Canadian Armed Forces, Armed Forces of the Netherlands, Danish Armed Forces and US Department of Defense.
“For the first time in Warrior Games history, golf, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby will be among the 14 sports which include archery, cycling, time-trial cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, ﬁeld, wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing and powerlifting.
“I am particularly pleased to see the ADF’s Sports Cell and VSA working so closely together to prepare, select and support our team.”
Royal Australian Air Force member, Corporal Caitlin Orchard said it was an honour to be selected to represent the ADF at the 2019 Warrior Games.
“I am proud and thankful for this opportunity. I am really looking forward to competing against other wounded, injured and ill serving and ex-serving members from other countries,” Corporal Orchard said.
“It takes courage, ambition and perseverance to make a comeback from injury. I cannot wait to stand among all the competitors who share these attributes and show everybody what we have to offer.”
Mr Chester said Defence support for adaptive sport was growing quickly.
“Being able to showcase the resilience of our serving and ex-serving members through participation in events like the Warrior Games is extremely important in the recovery and rehabilitation process,” Mr Chester said.
“The Warrior Games were established in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, injured and ill serving and ex-serving members, and to introduce them and their families to adaptive sports.
“I wish our team all the best for this year’s games.”
Australia’s involvement in the Warrior Games is part of a broader Adaptive Sports Program in which serving and ex-serving wounded, injured and ill members are able to participate in a variety of competitions in Australia, the US and Canada. This includes the Invictus Games, which will be held in May 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands.
The 2019 Warrior Games will be hosted by the United States Special Operations Command and take place from 21-30 June in Tampa Bay, Florida.