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NZers prepare for Invictus Games

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6 days ago

The 2016 Invictus Games 'I AM' logo. © Chris Jackson/Getty Images The 2016 Invictus Games 'I AM' logo. The Invictus Games, which get under way in Canada next week, will include a contingent of 24 New Zealand athletes.

The games is an adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill active duty and veteran service members.

This year's competition, in Toronto from September 23 to 30, will be the largest yet, with 550 servicemen and women from 17 nations competing in 12 adaptive sporting events.

New Zealand Defence Force team vice-captain Flight Lieutenant Jules Gilligan says the training had been stepped up in the past few months and a deeper understanding of the Invictus Games journey had also come to light.

"The courage of the people who are Invictus, and their Invictus spirit, has made such a big difference to my perspective of this journey," Flt Lt Gilligan said.

"My vision and outlook have changed, particularly recently. I have learnt a lot in the past year since joining the Invictus family."

After dealing with breast cancer and suffering a severe wrist injury, she is looking forward to representing the NZDF.

Flt Lt Gilligan said she can't wait to meet other competitors and see others' courage.

"The opportunity to represent my Defence Force and my country are huge honours. I am humbled to be given a place and I want to take away all I can from the Invictus experience to shape the rest of my life.

"Invictus for me is about challenging the circumstances life has given and adapting my life and overcoming it.

"It is about stepping out and taking the risks needed to move forward," she said.

The NZDF team is sponsored by the Auckland RSA, Christchurch Memorial RSA, Fulton Hogan, BLK and Offlimits Trust.

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