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Warrior Games as it happens: Stay up to date with Team Australia’s performance

With Team Australia’s 30 competitors, staff, family and friends currently in Orlando, Florida competing at the 2024 DoD Warrior Games, relive the highlights with daily updates. Come behind the scenes on their journey to Florida, follow the competitors performances and receive daily updates below.

For everything you need to know about the DoD Warrior Games, read the insider’s guide.

For live updates, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. To stream the events live, click here.

We partner with the Australian Defence Force to deliver Team Australia to the Warrior Games under The Adaptive Sport Program.

30th June – Day 10

Team Australia farewelled in emotional closing ceremony

After an inspiring and challenging nine days of competition, Team Australia, alongside US military personnel, were farewelled during the DoD Warrior Games closing ceremony. The team walked out for one final time as a group, and said goodbye (or see you soon) to the new friends they made with competitors from other teams.

Lieutenant Commander Alex Hale was awarded the prestigious ‘Hear of the Team’ award, which recognised his hard work, dedication and the support he gave to his team mates throughout the campaign. Excitedly, Lieutenant Kirby Watts took out the ‘Ultimate Champion’ title after competing in power lifting, cycling, shooting, archery, track and field, swimming and indoor rowing.

For Team Australia, their adaptive sport journey is just beginning. The team are energised and have experienced the power of sport first hand, ready to bring this power back to Australia.

29th June – Day 9

Aussies hit the pool as swimming begins

Day nine meant it was finally time for Team Australia to enter the water, with the swimming events taking place. The team participated in the five major events – 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke and 200m relay races. Alot of the team smashed their personal bests, energised by the roars of their loved ones supporting them on the pool deck.

Team Australia’s swim team is composed of Damien Batty, Cooper Blackwood, Erin Brigden, Jake Christie, Chelsie Clayton, Nigel Coutts, Captain Doug Griffiths, Adam Jackson, Jo Lovell, Lieutenant Commander Dave Miln, Ben Owens and Lieutenant Kirby Watts.

Official results will be updated here when available.

Team Australia finishes their sitting volleyball campaign strong

It was the team’s second day taking to the volleyball court, competing against a further two US military teams. Despite showing grit, determination and camaraderie, these games were the last of the team’s for this year’s games. The team was congratulated by the Aussie-strong fan club, who were there to cheer the team on the whole day. Relive the action below.

28th June – Day 8

Shotput and Discus take centre stage as field events kick off

Day eight’s field event was composed of two major events; the Discus and Shot Put/Club competitions. Competitors could compete either standing or seated and had to battle both US military personnel and the hot Florida sun.

Those competing in the field events included; Flight Lieutenant Ryan Mostyn, Jamie Adam Smyth, Sue Osborn, Laura Reynell, Jo Lovell, Lieutenant Kirby Watts, David Galla, Sergeant Emily Lahey, Diane Jackson, Luke McCallum, Jake Christie, Erin Brigden, Ainsley Hooker and Nigel Coutts. Relive the action below.

Sitting Volleyball begins

Team Australia’s sitting volleyball campaign began today, with the team taking on both Team Marine Corps and Team Air Force. Teams can have up to 12 competitors across three classification categories, with the tournament taking a pool and bracket format.

This year, those representing Team Australia include Damien Batty, Petty Officer Justin Brown, Chelsie Clayton, Captain Doug Griffiths, Ainsley Hooker, Adam Jackson, Luke Manhire, Luke McCallum, Flight Lieutenant Ryan Mostyn, Georgia Murrell, Sue Osborn and Ben Owens. Like all team sports, the matches were highly contested, with Team Australia showing true camaraderie and sportsmanship.

27th June – Day 7

Team Australia takes off as track events begin

Day seven meant it was time for the Team to take to the track. The team includes Cooper Blackwood, Jake Christie, Chelsie Clayton, Nigel Coutts, Leading Seaman Harley Dodds, Captain Doug Griffiths, Sergeant Emily Lahey, Lieutenant Commander Dave Miln, Flight Lieutenant Ryan Mostyn and Lieutenant Kirby Watts.

The team competed against US military teams in events including the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints, 800m and 1500m races and the 4x100m relays. Baking in the hot Florida sun and high humidity provided a challenging landscape for the team, however many smashed their PBs and the team took home a bunch of medals.

26th June – Day 6

Archery kicks off, with Team Australia trying for a bullseye

Day six saw the archery team take to the stage to vie for their chance at a bullseye. Shooting at a distance of 18 meters from the target, competitors can choose to shoot via a mouthpiece or by hand.

This year’s Warrior Games archery team includes: Corporal Sean Barry, Damien Batty, Petty Officer Justin Brown, Lieutenant Commander Alex Hale, Ainsley Hooker, Adam Jackson, Jo Lovell, Luke Manhire, Luke McCallum, Ben Owens, Jason Readdy and Tricia Reynolds.

Navy veteran Jo Lovell assumed that her two shoulder injuries meant that archery was out of reach. It was not until she attended the Team selection camp that she discovered adaptive archery.

“I came here with the unknown of what I was going to do and walked away with a sport that I didn’t even consider in archery. The archery community is so supportive and engaging and interested in the way I work. There was a sense of achievement in my first try. It was just something I haven’t felt for a very long time.” – Jo Lovell

Today, she competed for the first time in a sport she newly discovered, and will continue to be a part of.

Team Australia continues to show true sportsmanship in wheelchair basketball.

Day two of wheelchair basketball saw Team Australia take on Team SOCOM (US Special Operations Command), followed by Team Navy. The two matches were exciting displays of the camaraderie of the Defence community. Cheering them on in the crowd was ‘Kevin the Kangaroo,’ worn by fellow competitor Damien Batty and the amazing Team Australia cheer squad made up of friends and family and staff.

Cooper Blackwood, Jake Christie, Lieutenant Commander Alex Hale, Ainsley Hooker, Brett Lewis, Lieutenant Commander Dave Miln, Sue Osborn, Laura Reynell, Tricia Reynolds, Jamie Adam Smyth represented Team Australia in wheelchair basketball.

25th June – Day 5

Australia makes their mark at indoor rowing

Day five meant indoor rowing for some of the 30 competitors currently in Florida for the DoD Warrior Games. With both the 1-minute sprint and 4-minute race on the schedule, indoor rowing requires strength, speed, endurance and resilience.

Those who took on indoor rowing included: Diane Jackson, Lieutenant Commander Alex Hale, Adam Jackson, Luke McCallum, Luke Manhire. Erin Brigden, Sergeant Emily Lahey, Petty Officer Justin Brown, Jake Christie, Leading Seaman Harley Dods, Brett Lewis, Jason Readdy, Lieutenant Kirby Watts, Cooper Blackwood, Chelsie Clayton and Nigel Coutts.

With all the Aussies leaving their all on the ergometers, it was great to see the grit and determination the Team showed. As well as the resilience on display, Team Australia took home a number of medals.

4-minute race:

  • Mens’ 1.0 classification – Lieutenant Commander Alex Hale – Silver
  • Mens’ 2.0 classification – Luke McCallum – Silver
  • Mens’ 4.0 classification – Adam Jackson – Silver
  • Womens’ 2.0 classification – Diane Jackson – Gold
  • Womens’ 6.0 classification – Erin Brigden – Silver

1-minute sprint:

  • Mens’ 1.0 classification – Lieutenant Commander Alex Hale – Bronze
  • Mens’ 2.0 classification – Luke McCallum – Bronze
  • Mens’ 3.0 classification – Cooper Blackwood – Gold
  • Mens’ 4.0 classification – Adam Jackson – Silver
  • Womens’ 2.0 classification – Diane Jackson – Gold
  • Womens’ 5.5L classification – Lieutenant Kirby Watts – Gold
  • Womens’ 6.0 classification – Erin Brigden – Silver
  • Womens’ VI classification – Sergeant Emily Lahey – Gold

4 person team:

  • Max points 20 – Team Australia – Silver
  • Max points 23 – Team Australia – Bronze
  • Open – Team Australia – Bronze

Wheelchair Basketball kicks off with Team Australia taking to the court

The pool matches for wheelchair basketball has begun, with Team Australia taking on the US Marine Corps and Team Army.

Despite only getting a handful of chances to train as a team, these veterans blended seamlessly, showing camaraderie, teamwork and determination on the court. The team were joined by a large cheer squad of staff, family and friends wearing green and gold!

24th June – Day 4

Day of training and rest for Team Australia

With nothing on the schedule for Team Australia today, it was a chance for the team to take some time to relax, spend time with loved ones and take in the experience. For some, it was a chance to brush up on their skills with some last minute training.

Next up, indoor rowing and wheelchair basketball!

23RD JUNE – DAY 3

Precision Air Sportsmen take to the stage

Formerly known as shooting, Day three saw Corporal Sean Barry, Brett Lewis, Flight Lieutenant Ryan Mostyn, Corporal Sean Barry, Justin Brown, Tricia Reynolds, Nigel Coutts, Lieutenant Commander Alex Hale and Lieutenant Kirby Watts take on Precision Air Sports.

The first of two days, male and female athletes headed to the Osceola Heritage Park to compete. Competitors must shoot at a distance of 10 meters from the firing line and aim for an electric target. Check out some highlights below.

Wheeling Diggers take to the court for the second day

Team Australia were back for day 2 of wheelchair rugby. Their pool matches saw them take on the US Army, followed by the Marines.

After 2 tight contests, The Aussies were beat by the Army and Marines. The games were a great display of sportsmanship, camaraderie and determination by both sides, and provided entertainment for the Aussie cheer squad. This concludes Australia’s wheelchair rugby campaign – well done Team Aus!

For Georgia Murrell, her love for adaptive sport has just begun. After discovering this sport at the selection camp earlier this year, she is already wanting to be connected with a Wheelchair Rugby league in her home state, WA.

“I am a huge sportsperson – always have been. That isn’t new for me. But adaptive sports are and it is something I am going to continue. I did not even know it was a thing. I really want to try and find a Wheelchair Rugby team.”  – Georgia Murrell

22nd JUNE – DAY 2

Australians hit the road for some cycling action

Despite the hot Florida sun beaming down on them, the Cycling Team set the track on fire during day 2 of the Warrior Games. Competing in both road races and time trials, competitors used both traditional race bikes to hand cycles to hit the track.

The competitors who competed in powerlifting include: Jason Readdy, Captain Doug Griffiths, Lieutenant Commander Alex Hale, Adam Jackson, Diane Jackson, Jo Lovell, Lieutenant Commander Dave Miln.

For many cyclists, it is the experience of trying something new that makes this journey worth it. For Diane Jackson, handcycling was something she fell in love with when she tried it out for the first time recently, giving her a control that she cannot normally experience due to her physical health challenges.

Team Australia’s Diane Jackson competes in the women’s recumbent cycling at the Warrior Games 2024, held in Orlando, Florida, USA. Credit: ADF

“You can get in it, control it and go fast, which you sort of can’t do by any other means. I used to ride bikes and I haven’t been able to for seven or eight years, so it was great to get back in it and go riding around town” – Diane Jackson

With many personal bests achieved, this team made their loved one’s and all of Australia proud. Excitedly, Adam Jackson took home a Gold Medal, with his family standing proudly by his side. Nigel Coutts scored a silver medal in his category, with Lieutenant Commander Dave Miln picking up a gold.

Wheelchair Rugby players hit the court

On the first day of the Wheelchair Rugby pool matches, Team Australia took on the US Air Force and the US Marines. Taking to the court in green and gold was Corporal Sean Barry, Damien Batty, Cooper Blackwood, Harley Dodds, Ainsley Hooker, Luke Manhire, Georgia Murrell, Ben Owens, Laura Reynell and Jamie Smyth.

Official kick-off event sees Team Australia welcomed to Florida

After an action packed first two days, Team Australia were welcomed at the official kick off event, held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The team were lead by Co-Captains Sergeant Emily Lahey and Cooper Blackwood behind the Aussie flag.

Aussie competitor Laura Reynell was honoured to be selected to take part in the cauldron-lighting ceremony to officially mark the start of the games.

21st JUNE – DAY 1

Starting off strong with powerlifting

Team Australia began their Warrior Games campaign at full steam as the powerlifting team took to the stage. The ultimate test of upper body resilience, adaptive powerlifting was a great way to begin 8 of the competitors experience.

The competitors who competed in powerlifting include: Erin Brigden, Jake Christie, Leading Seaman Harley Dodds, David Galla, Diane Jackson, Sergeant Emily Lahey, Brett Lewis, Sue Osborn. The team was supported by fellow Team Australia competitors, aswell as their loved one’s.

All competitors put on a fierce display of strength, resilience and perseverance and Team Australia took home 4 medals!

Leading Seaman Harley Dodds – Bronze

Erin Brigden – Gold

Jake Christie – Silver

Dave Miln – Bronze

Team Australia and their loved ones celebrate at Disney World

With the events for day 1 done and dusted, Team Australia and their family and friends headed off to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for an afternoon of festivities, including a parade of athletes, musical performances, plenty of rides and a fireworks display.

The support of family and friends is integral to the recovery journey of all veterans, including those in Team Australia. Events like these are important moments for connection and allow competitors to create memories with eachother, as well as their family and friends.

PRE COMPETITION: Team australia travels to florida

Gathering in Sydney for the Pre-Departure camp, the energy among Team Australia was a mix of nerves and excitement. Sergeant Emily Lahey and Cooper Blackwood were announced as Team Captains, ready to take on the challenge of supporting this team on their sporting journey.

The 30-strong team, alongside staff and their loved one’s, travelled to Florida on The Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A. After a brief stopover in Hawaii, the team arrived in sunny Orlando, Florida, ready to finalise their training ahead of the beginning of the Games.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA

Team Australia would love your support! Tag @invictusaustralia in your stories and posts, send us your photos or use the hashtag #InvictusAustralia so we can share them! We’d love to see where in the world you are supporting the members of Team Australia from 💛 

If you would like to support Team Australia and purchase your own spectator merch, you can do so here.   


Invictus Australia partners with the Australian Defence Force to deliver Team Australia for both the Warrior and Invictus Games as part of the ADF Adaptive Sport Program. Learn more here.  


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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.