AUSTRALIA is all set to host the fourth Invictus Games in Sydney from 20 to 27 October 2018.
As the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 begins tonight with the Opening Ceremony at the Sydney Opera House, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Defence Personnel Darren Chester has welcomed competitors and their family and friends to Sydney.
“On behalf of the Australian Government, I am honoured to welcome all competitors and their supporters to Sydney and I wish them the best of luck in the coming events,” Mr Chester said.
“Australia is proud to be hosting the fourth Invictus Games and I urge all Australians to tune in to watch the events over the next week and cheer on the 72 inspiring men and women representing Team Australia.”
Australian Army veteran Jeff Wright, who is competing in his second Invictus Games, will be the flag bearer at tonight’s opening ceremony and said he is looking forward to leading out the team
“It’s an honour to lead out my teammates in front their friends and families, and to have the support of the Australian public for the Games,” Mr Wright said.
“Being a member of the Invictus Games team is a rewarding and fulfilling experience and a personal achievement for me to be able to compete for the second Games in a row.”
Mr Chester said the Games were also a great platform for generating a wider understanding of the sacrifices made by those who serve their country.
“The personal struggles each and every competitor and their families have overcome to make their national teams is a source of inspiration for us all,” Mr Chester said.
“The Games are more than a sporting event – they capture hearts, challenge perceptions and change lives.
“We are grateful for their service and are inspired by the unconquered spirit of these current and former serving members who have overcome so much to represent their countries on the world stage.”
Founded by His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, the Invictus Games is an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill service men and women, both active duty and veterans. The Games use the healing power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and celebrate the crucial role played by family and friends.
Mr Chester said tonight’s Opening Ceremony follows the Department of Veterans’ Affairs-led Veterans’ Families Forum, Veterans’ Employment Forum and the Invictus18 Symposium held over the past two days at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
“These events brought together decision makers and subject matter experts and were valuable opportunities to discuss the challenges veterans and their families face and to examine world’s best practices in delivering programs and services for veterans,” Mr Chester said.
“Our Government is putting veterans and their families first. We are committed to supporting our 290,000 veterans and their families, and provides more than $11.2 billion each year to deliver the essential services and programs they rely on, but there is more to be done.”
Five hundred competitors from 18 nations will compete in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 in 11 medal sports. The 2018 Australian Invictus Games team consists of 72 serving and former serving military personnel.
The AusDF and the Returned and Services League are partnering to support a combined Australian Team.
More information about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ involvement in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 can be found at www.dva.gov.au/invictus2018.
Images of Team Australia will be posted to the Defence Image Gallery throughout the Games: https://images.defence.gov.au
A biography for flag bearer Jeff Wright can be found at: http://www.defence.gov.au/Events/InvictusGames/team/JeffWright.asp