The Australian Defence Force (ADF) yesterday recognised 11 wounded, injured or ill military personnel and two veterans for their sporting prowess following their return from the 2014 United States Marine Corps Trials, conducted at Camp Pendleton, California, USA from 2-13 March.
The USMC Trials is an international event, with representatives from 14 nations’ armed forces invited this year to compete alongside teams from the USMC.
The Australian contingent was able to train and compete in a range of individual and team sports including archery, air rifle and air pistol, 10K, 20K, or 30K cycling/handcycling/recumbent, track, field and swimming. Team sports included wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and a relay in both track and swimming.
Commander Joint Health and President of the ADF Paralympic Sports Association, Rear Admiral Robyn Walker, welcomed the ADF athletes home at a reception in Brisbane.
“These competitions are about overcoming adversity from injury or illness, while increasing functional independence through sports skills,” Rear Admiral Walker said.
“The ADF team has competed well and shown enthusiasm and skill in many events. It has also been a great opportunity for our ADF members to attend for the first time this year together with a DVA-sponsored team of veterans, and we hope to build on these opportunities in future.
“Participation in the event has been an excellent opportunity not only for the team to increase their independence and physical fitness under expert coaching, but has provided psychological benefits of interaction and shared experiences with athletes from other countries.”
The Repatriation Commissioner, Major General Mark Kelly, was also on hand to receive the two Department of Veterans’ Affairs supported ex-ADF members who had attended the event.
Defence is committed to supporting our injured personnel and have a full range of programs in place for them and their families. The team’s involvement in the trials and sports camp was sponsored by the ADF Paralympic Sports Association.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140631
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999