Case study

Colleen Swifte
Army veteran, Invictus Games competitor 
Brisbane, QLD



Growing up in Brisbane, Colleen always enjoyed sports, despite her not being involved in any clubs. This all changed during service. Colleen joined the Australian Army in 1999 and became a Signaller.

While serving, Colleen started a women’s rugby team at one of her units and played the sport then. She has also spent time as an army reservist.  



After discharging from the Army in 2006 with a knee and shoulder injury, Colleen was left feeling frustrated with her body, which could no longer do the things it could do before and during her service. Colleen also struggled with her mental health and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to her service.  

Colleen rowing


Colleen decided to take up cycling post-service after seeing the positive impact the sport had on other veterans in her area. Whilst this was helpful in her psychical journey, with the cycling helping to strengthen her knee post surgeries, the mental benefits were amazing for Colleen.

She has developed strong friendships within her cycling community, which has been great for her mental recovery.  

Colleen swifte


Inspired by Team Australia during the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, Colleen decided to apply for the Adaptive Sport Program. She felt that the team environment would be a safe place for her to develop her fitness and provide a foundation for her ongoing participation in sport, which has been an essential factor in her recovery journey.  

She was honoured to represent Team Australia in both the Invictus Games in The Hague (2022) and Dusseldorf (2023) in Cycling, Indoor Rowing, Wheelchair Basketball and Sitting Volleyball. Cycling, which she calls her ‘first love’ saw her win a gold and bronze medal, which Colleen accepted with pride.  
Colleen remains an active member of her local sporting community, demonstrating that an Invictus Games is one step on a lifelong path to health.  

Colleen Swifte

Unconquered [to me] means not giving up and, if something goes wrong, having the courage to keep going.”


veteran & invictus games competitor

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