Link August 2017 - Page 28

sport, leisure & travel Aussie team announced A ustralia’s 43-person team for the 2017 Invictus Games, to be held in Toronto, Canada, was announced last month. Comprised of current and former military personnel, the team is supported by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Returned and Services League (RSL). In this edition of Link we meet some of the athletes set to compete. SQUADRON LEADER DANNY JEFFERY GARRY ROBINSON ADF Service: Joined the ADF Service: Joined Air Force in 1983 as an the Army in 1994 and Aeronautical Engineer. discharged in 2016 as a I have participated in Special Forces Sniper Team several operational Commander. Completed deployments including multiple deployments in Afghanistan, East Timor Afghanistan and East Timor. and the Middle East. Competing in: Cycling and Competing in: Athletics, swimming. wheelchair rugby and What is the nature of your wheelchair tennis. injury or illness? I was in a What is the nature of Black Hawk helicopter that crashed in Afghanistan in 2010. your injury or illness? I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and fractured I suffer from injuries to my spinal cord, knee and lower multiple bones including my lower leg that would not mend back as well as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and just over a year later it had to be amputated. I had a lot (PTSD) and hearing loss following my deployments. of internal bleeding, had to have my spleen removed and What role has sport played in your rehabilitation? The I also had a punctured lung. I was in an induced coma for opportunity to participate in adaptive sports has been a valuable tool in my pathway to recovery. It provides a four weeks, while my body healed and I spent two years in hospital rehabilitating from my brain injury. measurable goal that drives me to improve not only my What role has sport played in your rehabilitation? Being physical fitness, but also my diet and eating habits which part of the Invictus Games in 2014 and 2016 gave me that deteriorated. Training and participation combats my low feeling of belonging again. Each day I struggle to get out moods and feelings of exhaustion and reduces the impacts of bed, but the Invictus Games has given me something to of stress upon both my personal and work life. focus on and work toward. Why did you apply for the Invictus Games? Training, Why did you apply for the Invictus Games? I wanted to participating and interacting with other wounded, injured compete alongside other wounded, injured and ill serving and ill people boosts my confidence and self-esteem and former serving personnel. This gives me the moral beyond the thoughts I currently have of myself. In my mind courage and inspiration to continue my recovery. I feel like a broken vase with limited motivation. Adaptive sport events like the Invictus Games allow me to see and hear about the challenges and adversity that others are experiencing yet are still moving forward. 26 sport, leisure & travel