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Lifesaving hopefuls attend Selection Camp for Team Invictus Australia on the sunny Gold Coast 

Friendly competition and the unconquered spirit of veterans were on display earlier this month on the Gold Coast. The goal – to select the team who will don the Team Invictus Australia cap during this year’s Lifesaving World Championships. However, the selection camp wasn’t just about who would claim a spot – it was a time for veterans from across the country to come together, build camaraderie and experience the transformative power of sport.  

As well as a few familiar faces from the inaugural 2022 team, Invictus Games alumni Erin Brigden, Tony Sten, Karl Woodward, Sean Lawler, and Ryan Kelly were also present at the camp. These former serving veterans, all with experience on the international sporting stage, helped to create the powerful atmosphere of shared Defence experiences and a community dedicated to supporting each other.  

This network is about more than competition. It’s about connecting veterans with their communities and improving their well-being.”




“The selection camp was a fantastic opportunity for veterans interested in lifesaving to come together, train, and try out for a spot-on Team Invictus Australia,” shared Adam Pine, Director of Teams, Alumni and Pathways and organiser of the camp. “We aimed to create a competitive yet inclusive environment where all veterans, regardless of experience, could participate and embrace the power of sport.” 

The camp offered a diverse range of activities, allowing competitors to demonstrate their prowess in surf races, ski races, board races, iron person events, pool rescues, beach flags, sprints, relays, and a 2km beach run. From this camp, a final team of up to 10 women and 10 men from surf clubs across the country will be selected to represent Invictus Australia at the upcoming camp.  


The camp wasn’t just about selecting the interclub team. Invictus Australia emphasised inclusivity, welcoming an unlimited number of veterans to compete in age and masters’ events during the World Championships under this Team. This approach ensures that veterans of all skill levels and aspirations can participate in this prestigious international competition. 

We wanted veterans to feel comfortable, regardless of their skill level, because that’s how we build a strong team”

VETERAN & Selection camp atendee

Unlike the other international sporting events we help deliver, such as the Warrior and Invictus Games, the World Lifesaving Championships team is open to all veterans, rather than only those wounded, injured or ill. This inclusive approach recognises the challenges faced by veterans of all backgrounds and at all stages of their career in Defence. The pressures of service, deployment, and even everyday military life can take a toll on mental and physical wellbeing.  

However, this welcoming environment and opportunity to compete alongside fellow veterans can also use sport as a protective factor for overall wellbeing. The camaraderie, teamwork, and sense of purpose fostered through these events can be instrumental in mitigating the negative challenges veterans may come into contact with throughout their lives.  


This year’s selection camp builds upon the success of Team Invictus Australia’s participation in the 2022 Riccione Lifesaving World Championships, where the competitors made their debut as the first non-club team. With the upcoming games taking place on home soil, those selected will be keen to showcase their talents, as well as the mateship and camaraderie present between those of the Defence community.  


Team Invictus Australia was born out of the partnership between IA and SLSA, who were granted permission by the International Life Saving Federation to enter a combined military veteran team into the Riccione 2022 Lifesaving World Championships.   

Historically, individual athletes have competed under their club cap at this pinnacle event. However, 2022 marked the first time a non-club team was allowed to enter, with Team Invictus Australia entering a team of 8 military personnel from surf clubs across the country.  

With the success of the 2022 championships, Team Invictus Australia will be taking part in the 2024 championships on home soil, in the Gold Coast from the 20th of August – 8th of September 2024.   

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About Invictus Australia: Invictus Australia encourages veterans and their families to connect and engage with their communities through sport. Whether participating or volunteering at grassroots level, to competing internationally at an Invictus or Warrior Games, Invictus Australia leverages the power of sport to proactively foster good health and aid in recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Invictus Australia promotes the physical, social and emotional benefits of sport for all, and shine a light on the unique needs of younger veterans, particularly the challenges associated with transitioning from military to civilian life.