CFB Esquimalt hosts Invictus team training

Training athletes
The purpose of the Invictus Games is to harness the power of sport to inspire recovery and support the rehabilitation of the competitors, who in turn inspire countless others with their demonstration of determination and resilience. Photo: Lookout

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Peter Mallett – Lookout

Team Canada started training at CFB Esquimalt for the 2018 Invictus Games in preparation for this year’s international competition for ill and injured soldiers and veterans.

The training camp, held from April 8 to 14, involved approximately 40 athletes, three head coaches and several volunteer coaches. It was part of the preparations for the fourth edition of the Games in Sydney, Australia, October 20 to 27, which will feature military athletes from 18 nations competing in 11 sports.

The Naden Athletic Centre served as the main training venue for powerlifting, indoor rowing, swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, cycling, and sitting volleyball camps. The Canadian Forces Sailing Association (CFSA) hosted the sailing training camp; archery training was held at the Victoria Bowman Outdoor Range, and Oak Bay Secondary High School was the venue for track and field.

Peter Lawless, Victoria Lawyer and Canadian Olympic Committee Vice President, has returned to head coaching duties this year. He is one of 12 coaches on the team.

There are no returning athletes on Canada’s team as in previous years. A complete shuffling of the deck is an effort to give others a chance to experience the power of the Games.

“It’s a remarkable journey; there are lots of ups and downs, and as you move closer to the games, the team cohesion builds and individual confidence increases,” said Petty Officer First Class Joe Kiraly, Team Canada manager.

Volunteers from the CFSA and the Victoria Disabled Sailing Association combined efforts to train and coach competitors during the camp. They lent their expertise as Invictus sailors prepared to represent Canada in the Keeleboat Racing competition at the Royal Prince Albert Yacht Club on Sydney Harbour.

“We are thrilled to be able to give back to veterans and service members who have been injured and to show them how great therapeutic sailing can be, how it can be an important be part of a healthy lifestyle and what a great event [the Invictus Games] is to participate,” said Lieutenant-Commander Maier, who was named coach of Team Canada’s sailing team.

For more information about the Invictus Games visit www.invictusgames2018.org.

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