Invictus Australia – beyond the Games: Hundreds of local veterans get active in Canberra for annual Sport Day
There was something for everyone at Invictus Australia’s second Defence Community Sports Day on April 1 as 430 participants keenly tried a range of inclusive activities.
With numbers almost doubling from 2022, the Canberra veteran community enthusiastically turned out at Tuggeranong Archery Club to share in the connective power of sport.
Supported by Invictus Australia’s sporting partners, volunteers from corporate partners NEC Australia & the local Defence Health team, the free event provided veterans and those close to them a chance to test various sports, including adaptive options, as well as socialise and sample the various goodies on offer.
The day underlined Invictus Australia’s commitment to strengthening the wellbeing of not only the nation’s almost 600,000 veterans but also their families, friends and support networks.
Attendees enjoyed archery, table tennis, pickleball, wheelchair rugby league, indoor rowing and parkrun, with volunteer coaches on deck to run through the basics and provide expert advice.
As an added incentive, participants were given a passport that was stamped at each sport stall. Once completed, it acted as a ticket into a prize draw for five free family Come and Try sessions provided by Tuggeranong Archery Club.
Virtual reality games, egg-and-spoon races and attractions including a bouncy castle, photo booth, face-painting stand, balloon modelling and food outlets added to the all-ages fun.
Drone racing was a new addition and proved extremely popular, with CMRC FPV Drone Racing Canberra and the Australian Army Drone Racing Team leading the demonstrations.
“I took my young kids (2 and 3) and was pleasantly surprised at how much you had for their age group. My husband was worried our kids were too young for the event, but they had a ball! It seemed like there was plenty to keep all demographics engaged. The passport was a great idea as it actually encouraged us to visit the stalls, when perhaps we normally wouldn’t. And the kids enjoyed the extra activity of asking for stamps!”
Special guests lend a hand
Invictus Australia was fortunate to have several special guests who generously provided support and shared their experiences with the attendees.
Former Invictus Games representatives Gary Wilson and Tiffany White, 2023 competitor Taryn Dickens and Olympian Sprinter Melissa Breen offered insight into their sporting achievements.
The presence of Nicole Lawler (Liberal Member for Brindabella), David Smith (Labour Federal Member for Bean), Mark Parton (Liberal Member for Brindabella) and Glenn Keys AO (Invictus Australia board member) was also greatly appreciated.
volunteers make it all happen
The day simply wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of our volunteers and staff.
More than 70 people selflessly helped organise registrations, directed traffic and parking, set up and packed down the stalls and equipment, cooked and served food, provided information about Invictus Australia’s services, coached the attendees and more.
It’s testament to the Invictus philosophy of being Unconquered Together, and the benefits that are shown to be enjoyed by volunteering in the community and being part of something worthwhile.
A huge thanks to all involved for your continued support. The camaraderie on display was yet another reminder of how sport can unite and heal.
photobooth always a hit – meet some of our ACT veteran community
Looking to get involved in sport in your region? Connect with our staff through your regions Facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org