Former Australian Rugby Union footballer and captain of the Wallabies, Stephen Moore says the power of Invictus Games goes far beyond the actual event, and will leave a lasting legacy for Australia to look back on and remember inspirational stories of resilience.
"It doesn't matter if you've been injured physically or mentally, or you're having a tough day at home – you can deal with adversity in different ways and the Invictus Games are a great example of how people are doing that in a team environment on the world stage," said Stephen, speaking at a MinterEllison client event held at Sydney's Hyde Park Barracks to raise funds for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.
Moore was pivotal in bringing the Invictus Games to Sydney. Whilst playing a game of wheelchair rugby at the soldier recovery centre in Darwin at Robinson Barracks and after seeing images of the Invictus Games in the UK, the idea was born to bring the Games to Sydney. He has played a big role right from the start – from helping to develop the bid, engaging the right people, and securing the funds needed.
"When I was at the solider recovery centre in Darwin, I saw what soldiers were going through and some of the things they were dealing with, some of the depths that people were in, and I thought that the Invictus Games would be a really powerful vehicle to promote a road to recovery."
That road to recovery takes many different forms says Stephen, and "it doesn't matter what you're doing in life, whether you're injured, ill or able bodied, you need to have a purpose and I think that the Invictus Games embody that."
"The more we can promote the values and the ethos of the Invictus Games, the better, and if one person can be impacted by these Games in terms of their own recovery and rehabilitation then I think it's been a success."
The resilience and adversity the competitors have overcome to compete is something Australia should really promote, celebrate and remember, says Stephen. "I think that message is the ethos of the Invictus Games and why it's such a powerful event."
"The Invictus Games are about representing your country, and that's what these people did in their previous life, and through the Games, are able to do that again – and that's quite special and inspirational," said Stephen. "There's been a lot of people involved on the journey, and it's just amazing to see that team grow and set to deliver a world class event over the next two weeks."
Echoing Stephen Moore's message of legacy and resilience, Able Seaman Braedon Griffiths the youngest competitor in the Australian team, said that "The Invictus Games have given me a real drive to get amongst everybody... After the Games I know that I'm going to continue on with my sport. I've fallen in love with wheelchair rugby."
MinterEllison first met Able Seaman Braedon Griffiths while climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge in August as part of the Invictus Games Fly the Flag campaign. Braedon is a wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and sitting volleyball competitor.
He says that sport, like the Invictus spirit, doesn't just leave after the event.
"Even through hard times you can still achieve something, it's been a really good experience… giving me the opportunity to meet similar people with similar stories. I'm not just in it for the medals, gold looks pretty good, but there's more than that."
MinterEllison are the Official Lawyers of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.