The Paralympics is the premiere event on the sporting calendar for disabled athletes, and Prince Harry’s Invictus Games now offers another platform for them to shine.
Australia has long had an enduring love affair with the British Royal Family, and we’ve always had a special place in our hearts for our favourite royal – the cheeky ginger prince. We’ve watched Prince Harry grow up before our eyes, blossoming into a mature young man who is now following in his famous mother’s footsteps in order to continue the legacy of her philanthropic work.
Prince Harry’s passion project – the Invictus Games
Founded in 2014, the Invictus Games is an international Paralympic-style sporting event that is committed to showcasing the skills of disabled athletes. Injured and wounded servicemen and women can participate in various sports in the games including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing. The Invictus Games is Prince Harry’s personal passion project, inspired by his time spend in the military. The young royal recently made a personal visit to Sydney, in order to mark the launch of the official festivities, as Australia prepares to host the prestigious event in 2018.
Invictus Games comes down under in 2018
Sydney has been named as the host city of the fourth Invictus Games from October 20-27 next year, featuring over 500 competitors from 17 nations. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Returned and Services League (RSL) have supported a team of 43 athletes to compete at this year’s Invictus Games in Toronto, and in 2018 they will partner again to sponsor a team of athletes to compete on their home turf, participating in a range of adaptive sports including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis, archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, and golf.
The Invictus Games has only been up and running for four years but is already starting to command the sort of attention that it’s much larger equivalent – the Paralympics – normally attracts. Thanks to Prince Harry, the playing field for disabled athletes has expanded, and us sport-obsessed Aussies will no doubt be cheering them all on next year.