What are the Invictus Games?
It was a dizzyingly quick turnaround for Corporal Sonya Newman who just months after having her leg amputated above the knee dived headfirst into the 2017 Invictus Games. The ABC is the official host broadcaster of this year’s games. Photo:
Corporal Newman competed in last year’s Invictus Games and has a tattoo to show for it. But what are they? “Some days it got harder to get out of bed,” she said.Having been helped along the way by fellow athletes, she is keen to offer the same mentorship for new competitors at this year’s event. “If I can help anybody on that journey, then that makes me really happy,” she said.The Invictus Games will be held in Sydney from October 20-27. Darwin’s Thomas Foster, who will represent Australia in swimming, agreed the opportunity to try out for the games had helped him out of a rough patch.The combat engineer suffers chronic pain and severely limited mobility in his foot after falling into a rabbit hole in 2015.”It seemed to me that life got shut down a little bit and I became a bit secluded, because I wasn’t able to do things that I’d usually do through work and with the boys out there,” he said.Mr Foster has a background in swimming.Commonwealth Games medallist and two-time Olympian Sally Hunter is his sister, and after setting the sport aside due to work commitments, he hoped the upcoming games would offer him a global stage of his own.”It basically made me get back out there; got me doing things again, so it really helped my outlook on how things seemed,” he said.Corporal Newman said despite taking a gung-ho attitude to the 2017 games, nerves eventually took hold as she struggled to negotiate a steep learning curve. (ABC Radio Darwin: Jesse Thompson)
“I just came to the realisation that some things were actually challenging for me. Photo:
Corporal Newman spends most mornings swimming laps in the pool at the Darwin Army barracks. The 11 sports are adaptive, meaning they have been modified to suit the abilities of competitors, who nominate to represent their nations in anything from swimming to seated volleyball.For Corporal Newman, it means months of hard training amid an already busy schedule lay ahead.”I think you never really know if you’re ready,” she said.Games give back to athletesDuring try-outs, competitors are assessed on the motivation and fitness they bring to teams — but organisers are also wary of giving back.”They have to look at who’s going to get the most out of being a competitor, and who it’s going to help through a difficult stage in their life,” Corporal Newman said. Invictus Games: Everything you need to know More than 500 athletes from around the globe will descend on Sydney for the 2018 Invictus Games. “My boss at the time just gave me some paperwork and said, ‘I think this will be helpful for you’,” Corporal Newman said, who led Darwin’s Anzac Day march this year.The servicewoman of nearly two decades had been adjusting to surgical complications that cost her a leg and kept her in hospital for three of the first four years of her daughter’s life.”I think I needed something that would give me that extra little bit of push,” she said. (ABC Radio Darwin: Jesse Thompson)
“To refocus myself onto something that was more positive was definitely helpful for me in that period time.”The Top End local tried out for the international sporting event, trained hard, and collected three silver medals and a gold for her performance in the swimming pool.She has been named as one of the squad of athletes that will represent Australia at this year’s games.Created by Prince Harry for wounded, injured and ill military personnel, this year’s Invictus Games will attract more than 500 competitors from 18 nations to Sydney’s Olympic Park in October.
(ABC Radio Darwin: Jesse Thompson) ABC Radio Darwin
By Jesse Thompson
June 16, 2018 07:00:01
Corporal Sonya Newman has been selected to represent Australia in the 2018 Invictus Games.
Women to lead Darwin's Anzac Day march for first time
Prince Harry announces Sydney as host of 2018 Invictus Games