ADM(HR-Civ)’s very own Ruth Lam selected to volunteer at Invictus Games

two women standing together.
Ruth Lam and competitor Chief Petty Officer, 2nd Class Cheryl Bush at NDHQ (Carling) before the start of the Flag Parade. CP02 Bush is part of the HQ Transformation Team and who has been taking care of HR-Civ throughout the move to Carling.


Ruth Lam, Director of Learning, Training and Professional Development, was nothing but smiles when she sat down to talk about her upcoming trip to Toronto for the 2017 Invictus Games. Ruth donned her yellow volunteer uniform with pride for the Invictus Games Flag Parade at NDHQ (Carling) later that afternoon.

The Invictus Games are being held on September 23–30. The games use the power of adaptive sport to help wounded warriors on their journey to recovery. Established by Prince Harry, the inaugural Invictus Games took place in London in September 2014; the second, and equally successful, Games took place in Orlando in May 2016.
The Games will feature more than 550 competitors from 17 nations participating in 12 adaptive sports. Hosting the Games in Canada in 2017, the year the country celebrates the 150th anniversary of its Confederation, provides a unique opportunity for Canadians to commemorate ill, wounded, and injured soldiers, along with their families.

Ruth was selected as one of 1500 volunteers and will be part of the Games Organization committee – main operations crew, performing the important role of risk and crisis management for the event.

The Games being hosted in Canada in 2017, the year this country celebrates its 150th anniversary, is substantial and exciting.

Q: How significant is this event for you and fellow Canadians?

A: It’s huge. Last year, Prince Harry made the announcement that he was bringing the Games to Toronto in September 2017. I don’t think I can truly express how excited I got over the announcement. In the video message, he described it best when he said, “2017 is a year steeped in rich Canadian military history, marking the anniversaries of historic battles that shaped and defined the nation. It is also the year that Canada will commemorate 150th anniversary of Confederation.”

There really is no better way to mark this anniversary than allowing me and my fellow Canadians to commemorate and honour our wounded ill and injured soldiers and their families. The power of sport inspires recovery, supports rehabilitation and generates a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve our country.

Q: What made you decide to volunteer for the Invictus Games?

A: I knew that I wanted to do something meaningful and memorable for Canada’s 150th, and when it was announced that Canada was to host, I knew that this was my opportunity to marry my passion for volunteering, my love of sport, and wanting to express my appreciation to those who serve by stepping up to offer my time to honour their courage and accomplishments.

Q: What does this opportunity mean to you?

A: There is no better way to show my gratitude for our veterans and service members than by volunteering for the Invictus Games and being one of the 1500 volunteers chosen to help make these Games a memorable one for the military competitors, their families and spectators.

I chose to work for National Defence over 10 years ago, and so it is easy to understand why this event resonates so deeply with me. Invictus Games is truly a transformative sporting event. Being around the competitors and other volunteers and hearing their stories as to why they are participating, really does add another layer of emotional awareness and understanding for me both personally and professionally.

Q: Can you tell us about your role at the Invictus Games?

A: At Games time, the GOP team will be responsible for ensuring that the 2017 Invictus Games has the systems and processes in place to allow for communication, escalation, and resolution of any issues that arise. This will be achieved through the development of a clear and concise command, coordination, and communication framework and the establishment and operation of an integrated Main Operations Centre (MOC).

The MOC crew will be responsible for assisting in the operations of the MOC during Games time through the incident management system. The small, select group of volunteers in this role will be responsible for receiving and logging issues as they come in, ensuring that these issues are escalated to the appropriate parties and resolved in a timely fashion.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most?

A: Being a part of a team of enthusiastic and passionate volunteers focused on one purpose – to make these Games a memorable and inspiring experience for our competitors, their friends and families, and spectators – is amazing beyond belief.

When I am not on shift, I plan on cheering as loud as I can for Team Canada and the other nations at various events. I have packed my cowbell, too!

Q: How can the rest of us show our support and gratitude to participating competitors?

A: The simplest way for you to encourage and show your support for the recovery of our wounded warriors is to become a social ambassador. Follow @InvictusToronto on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and use the following hashtags when sharing: #IAM #IG2017 #Invictus Games #InvictusToronto

The competitors will be actively checking social media for these hashtags to be sure to show your support through these channels!

You can also purchase Invictus Games merchandise, donate or watch the televised ceremonies and events on TSN. It will surely be an inspiring and proud event for all of us Canadians.

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