Aussie Veterans keep cool as they head to Canada for Sport Camp
Sport can save lives when it comes to our veterans. Don’t take our word for it. Read about the inspiring team heading to Whistler to participate, but importantly, build mental fitness together at the Winter Allied Sports Camp.
“Sport gives me the strength to push forward and to not give up on days I’ve convinced myself that nobody cares. Sport hasn’t just played a role in my rehabilitation it is the reason my wife still has a husband and my son still has a dad today. I currently compete in sport on a regular basis and it is my main tool for rehabilitation when it comes to mental health. “ – Corporal Jason Moore, a participant in the Winter Allied Sports Camp 2023
The next unique opportunity for Jason to use sport in his mental health arsenal is just around the corner. From 21st Feb – 2nd March 2023, Invictus Australia in partnership with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are sending a team of six former and current serving veterans to Whistler as part of the Soldier On (Canada) Allied Winter Sports Camp.
The team have been selected from the ADF Adaptive Sport Program, which is open to former & current service personnel from all branches of the regular or reserve ADF who have become wounded, injured or ill during or as a direct consequence of their service.
The camp is an annual activity last attended in February 2020 where the Commander of Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group invited Australia to participate in a program of activities in Canada, along with other countries including the UK, USA and Canada.
Through the Canadian Armed Forces Solider On program veteran participants from the invited countries engage in sledge hockey, Nordic/alpine skiing, snowboarding, shoeing, bobsledding and skeleton. Expert guidance and instruction is delivered by Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, a not for profit provider of recreation programs for children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities.
The role sport has in the recovery, rehabilitation and wellbeing of current & former serving veterans can be transformative, and in cases like Jason, life saving. As he says, “With my mental health challenges, I have good days and bad, just like everyone else. But on those days where it seems too much to carry on, to face the world or even get out of bed in the morning, sport has always been there. It’s given me purpose and drive when I haven’t had any. It’s given me a sense of belonging when I’ve felt empty and alone inside.”
Which is why at Invictus Australia we are dedicated to opportunities like this, and the upcoming Invictus Games including Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 this September and the Invictus Games Canada 2025. In many ways, this Sports Camp is a wonderful precursor for what we can expect at the first hybrid Summer/Winter Invictus Games, taking place across Vancouver and Whistler.
So what can we expect from the Winter Camp? The camp isn’t a competitive program, with no medals or winning in the traditional sense, which maximizes opportunities for camaraderie, recovery, inspiration and creating a springboard for participants to continue their healing journey when they return to Australia.
We’ll leave the last word to Jason.
“Success is measured in so many different ways. For me if I have the opportunity to meet some great people, experience new and exciting things in an amazing place I would normally never have the opportunity to visit, then that is the pinnacle of what success looks like at the Winter Allied Sport Camp.”