Racing toward the Invictus Games this September
Team Australia cyclists took to the streets of Adelaide between May 11 and 15, to ramp up their preparations for Invictus Games, Dusseldorf 2023.
Able Seaman Taryn Dickens is one of nine cyclists set to thrive at the games this September and described the training camp as a great way to get to know each other and have some fun.
“Having a big team at camps is really good but, in smaller groups, we spend quality time together and learn how best to support each other,” she said.
The training camp involved skills training, fitness assessments, power testing, maximal oxygen consumption, and strength and endurance testing, with the help of the Invictus Pathways Program run by the University of South Australia.
With no rehabilitation available for her vision loss, Able Seaman Dickens turned her attention to cycling to give her focus, routine and something to keep her mind in check.
“I like having something to focus on, with short term being the team training camps and long term being the Games,” she said.
Able Seaman Dickens started cycling in her mid-20s but said when her vision deteriorated she used the sport to support her wellbeing.
“It’s low impact and makes you push yourself as you always need to get yourself back from where you came from; no one is going to push you,” she said.
“I have been doing lots of training, trying to better my diet and prioritise quality sleep as I lead up to the Games,” she said.
The thing Able Seaman Dickens is most looking forward to is taking her brother and nephew to the Games.
“I think it’s a really special part of what Invictus Games offers. You can take friends and family to places they may not have been; they get to watch you compete and be part of the broader Australian team,” she said.
“Our families have supported us so it’s nice to share the experience with them.”
Able Seaman Dickens said having coaching advice and support on hand has also been one of the highlights of being part of the team.
“Until now I have just trained myself and done well as I am quite fit, but it’s so nice having some support. It really takes the pressure off,” she said.
Able Seaman Dickens is just one of the 31 serving and former serving wounded, injured and ill military personnel who will represent Australia at this year’s Games.
Competitor biographies are online at here
Article written by Squadron Leader Amanda Scott