The Invictus Games, an international adaptive sports event, is coming to Sydney’s shores this month. With events running from 20-27 October, 2018, there is a jam-packed schedule of sporting gold.
Adaptive sports are extremely similar to their standard counterparts but with equipment and rule modifications to meet the needs of the competitors. Competitors are classified according the ways in which their impairment affects their ability to carry out the fundamentals of their chosen sport. This way the playing field is fair for all.
The Games were founded in 2014 by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry. The first games were held in London the same year. Two years later they were held in Orlando, USA and then the year after in Toronto, Canada. Now Sydney has the chance to welcome over 500 athletes from 18 different countries across the world.
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Sussex founded the Games after visiting and watching the US Warrior Games, a sporting event for injured American service personnel. From this he created an expanded, international version of the games that invites service-personnel from all allied nations to take part. HRH The Duke of Sussex remains as the patron of the Invictus Games and continues to support and drive awareness for them so that they can change the lives of wounded active and veteran defense personnel.
Australia has been given a unique opportunity in the hosting of the games this year. Along with our veterans and those still serving, we are honoured to be able to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War 1. Rather than a competition of the world’s most elite athletes, the Invictus Games calls for competitors of all abilities to ignite their "unconquered" spirit. The Games support the power of sport in inspiring recovery and rehabilitation and hope to generate a wider understanding of the sacrifice that veterans across the world have made in serving their countries.
Sydney will host the games at its world-class sporting venues. Catch sailing and road cycling events in the world-famous Sydney Harbour and The Domain. The main hub of action will be Sydney Olympic Park, the iconic home of the 2000 Olympic Games. This state-of-the-art facility will host all the aquatic and athletics events, such as swimming, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, archery, indoor rowing, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
The Invictus Games will also host unique events. One of these is the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge. Teams of two will battle it out to get the best time in a series of challenging courses. The winners won’t be the ones that drive the fastest but instead, the ones with the best precision and communication. Another unique event is sitting volleyball where each player must have at least one buttock touching the floor whenever they contact the ball. Watching these sporting heroes fight for victory is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Kick off the Invictus Games the right way with the Opening Ceremony on Saturday 20 October. Held at the Sydney Opera House, it will be a special opportunity to welcome the competitors, families and friends from around Australia and the world to our humble shores. At the end of the eight days of competition, rock out with alt-rock band Birds of Tokyo at the Closing Ceremony at the Qudos Bank Arena. The Closing Ceremony is a celebration of the achievements from the Games and the spirit of the competitors.
With intense sporting competition from around the world, the Invictus Games are a not-to-be-missed event.