‘We look fierce’: Invictus Games kit revealed

The Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 Team Australia kit has been launched and it’s already been labelled a hit by the nation’s 31 competitors.

CAPTIONInvictus Games 2023 Team Australia competitor Flight Sergeant Nathan King prepares to throw during an athletics training session at the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation, Narrabeen NSW. Story by Tina Langridge. Photo by Flight Sergeant Ricky Fuller.

The uniform, which features the country’s instantly recognisable green-and-gold colours, was unveiled at the final training camp held at the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation at Narrabeen from August 4 to 7.

Commander Ryan Kelly, 40, who joined the Australian Navy in 2001, will be competing in archery, volleyball and swimming at his first ever Invictus Games in Germany.

And to say he is keen is an understatement.

“We’re getting to the business end of the competition; the excitement is very real,” said Commander Kelly, who has been named captain of the archery team.

“It’s definitely hitting home that the Games is about four weeks away.

“I think I speak for everyone in saying that pulling on the green and gold is pretty special,” he said.

Ainsley Hooker, 36, who has the honour of being the athletics captain as well as a competitor in the wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby events, took it one step further.

“I’ve been out of the Army since 2013 but wearing this Team Australia uniform reminds me of wearing my uniform in the military.

“I feel the same sense of pride wearing it as I did wearing my Defence uniform.

“I don’t want to take it off,” she said with a laugh.

Sitting volleyball captain Francine Dudfield, who will also contest indoor rowing and powerlifting events, agrees.

“The uniforms are great; so comfortable and really good quality. To be honest, we look fierce,” Ms Dudfield said.

“The entire team is so proud and ready to represent Australia.”

CAPTIONInvictus Games 2023 Team Australia unveils their respective sports uniforms they will be wearing in Düsseldorf, Germany. Photo by Flight Sergeant Ricky Fuller.

With the countdown now on, Ms Dudfield, a first-time competitor who was discharged from the Australian Army in 2013, explained that the team was taking advantage of the coaching and medical support on offer at the camp to finalise training schedules and relook at individual programs before departing for Düsseldorf.

“Obviously we all have our own personal goals, but I for one am also looking to develop new, deep connections with current and former servicemen and women from other countries,” she said.

The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick, serving and former-serving military personnel. It will be held from September 9 to 16.

The Games use the power of sport to support recovery, rehabilitation and generate wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country.

CAPTIONTeam Australia competitors Bradley Mazzaferri (centre) and Alexandra Jay warm up during sit down volleyball training at the Sydney Academy of Sports and Recreation, Narabeen, Sydney, in the lead up to the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Andrew Dakin.

Around 500 competitors from 22 nations as well as around 1000 family members and friends will attend the event, which will be jointly hosted by the German Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) and the City of Düsseldorf.

Competitors will compete in 10 individual and team sports including archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, cycling, sitting volleyball, table tennis, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

The Australian team is supported by the Australian Defence Force and Invictus Australia.

Meet the Australian team www.defence.gov.au/invictusgames


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