Link October 2018 Volume 27 Issue 5 - Page 25

people F ounded by HRH The Duke of “For me, training is like a coping Connolly, who will compete in the Sussex, Prince Harry, in 2014, strategy … not just for my physical 2018 Games in wheelchair basketball the Invictus Games use the health but for my mental health and wheelchair rugby. power of sport to inspire recovery, too, otherwise it can be a struggle support rehabilitation and generate a sometimes,” she said. wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country. For Corporal Sonya Newman, “It (Invictus Games) has changed my life.” Sonya said ‘winning’ at the Dave, 55, from Mena Creek in Queensland, joined the Army in 1982 and discharged in 2003. The majority of his service was with the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and sport has played a big role in her 2018 Games will be “bringing my Parachute Training School (PTS), and rehabilitation from an above-knee best efforts to the competition he was deployed to the Middle East amputation, following complications and showing my kids (Douglas and in a peacekeeper role in 1995. Having from minor-surgery, in 2016. Ashley) what I can achieve”. completed all parachute instructor “Sport gives me the motivation I ‘Invictus’ is Latin for unconquered, courses, he became the Wing Sergeant need to get moving in life. My entire and it embodies the fighting spirit of Major (PTS) and was awarded the outlook has changed since I started defence service personnel like Dave Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC). swimming and learned to walk again,” she said. “I can now see what I can achieve in life, not what I cannot.” Sonya, 38, from Darwin in the North Territory, is an Operator “It was such a life-changing experience to see people with different injuries and illness putting in so much effort to be the best that they can be." Specialist Vehicle 274-10 currently posted to the 1st Combat Service Support Battalion. She joined the Army Reserves in 1999, transferred to the permanent Army in 2002 and has been deployed to the Solomon Islands and Sumatra. Sonya competed in the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. “It was such a life-changing experience to see people with different injuries and illness putting in so much effort to be the best that they can be,” she said. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of the Games here in Australia.” Sonya will compete in wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball and swimming and has been enjoying a robust training Sonya Newman (right, and opposite) and Dave Connolly (above) will compete in the Invictus Games in Sydney this month. schedule. linkonline.com.au people 25