Team Australia Invictus Games The Hague 2022
Peter joined the Australian Army in 1996, discharging in 2002. A love of the training, discipline and routine experienced in the military provided Peter with many skills he’s found invaluable throughout his life.
After injuring his left ankle and suffering years of discomfort and a series of failed surgeries, Peter made the significant decision to remove his lower left leg. He is now a below-knee amputee, and while that decision might sound drastic, Peter knew it was the best approach to allow him to embrace life. “I feel very lucky to have received this treatment. It allows me to get on with my life and look forward to what the future will bring.”
The journey to get to this place of acceptance took it’s toll, however.
Peter had a couple of secret weapons to get him through – his love of sport and an incredible support unit to inspire and motivate him.
“My friends and family – they’re positive, enthusiastic and determined. These people make everyone around them shine. They don’t give up and they laugh in the face of adversity. They love life and they inspire me to be my best.”
And being his best meant Peter was prepared to go outside his comfort zone to set an example. That’s where the Invictus Games comes in.
“Being part of the Invictus Games was something I never thought possible. Applying for the Games was out of my comfort zone but I just wanted to show my kids that no matter what challenges lie ahead, you can tackle it with your best effort and with no excuses.”
It’s why the Friends and Family program has always been an integral part of the Invictus Games, as it acknowledges that the whole family serves when someone is in the military.
Peter says of his family, “I am so lucky to have five beautiful kids – Georgia, Mason, Amber, Boston and Billie. Invictus allows me to encourage them to give everything they can, to try new things and that despite adversity they can still have purpose and a strong sense belonging.”
Whether it’s playing sport at home with his kids, competing on the international stage, participating in local clubs or motivating kids at the school where he is Principal, Peter knows the power of sport extends beyond the physical benefits. And educating the next generation about resilience, life skills and gratitude is another way Peter continues to serve his community, while supporting his own wellbeing.
“Being the principal of my local school and part of the Invictus team allows me to support the development of students, helping them build the skills required to have successful and happy lives. These students help me appreciate life and assist me in being a better me, they make me grateful for what I have and encourage me to challenge myself and put into practice the things I ask from them daily.”
Life is not always easy but using sport as my outlet provides me with purpose and determination to not give up. I have met fantastic people that have taught me to never take the easy option. I am so lucky to do what I do and have such purpose and direction to help me through the tough times by being involved in sport and the Invictus team. I am so lucky to be surrounded by amazing people.”
Peter now prepares to represent Team Australia at The Invictus Games The Hague 2022, this April.
Competing in Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball, Indoor Rowing, Wheelchair Rugby and Sitting Volleyball, there will be plenty of opportunities for his biggest fans to cheer him on back here in Australia.
“Sport has played a massive role, especially for my mental health. It’s an outlet to feel fresh and alive. I enjoy the competition and being a part of a team. Not using my injury as an excuse has been important and sport has been the catalyst for this. Being determined to still play sport has ensured my overall health is strong. Sport allows me to stay connected and happy.”