Made up of 40 athletes, Team Canada met at Naden Athletic Centre in Victoria, BC for the first Invictus Games training camp of the year.
Lt. (N) Christine Hurov, Canada Invictus 2018 Public Affairs Officer, said the first training camp was mainly about the team coming together and getting to know one another but was also a chance for the team to show off their skills in their respective sports.
“Our regular schedule is a morning training session where they practice their primary sport, an afternoon session where they practice their secondary sport and then an evening training session which is team sports,” said Hurov.
Hurov said the first training camp of the year was great, very well organized and amazing to see the bond form between the athletes.
“It’s kind of the foundation for this whole Invictus experience, so not only did the athletes learn techniques and skills to further their sports and how to train for the next months, but it was really important for the team to come together and become a team,” she said.
Hurov adds there will be a second training camp in Halifax, NS, in July where the official Team Canada athletes will be announced. For now, the athletes have gone home and will continue their training in preparation for the next training camp.
“They’re all in touch with their coaches via email, social media and videos and sharing text messages and everything to keep on their training,” said Hurov.
This year alone, over 700 Canadian military personnel applied to compete in the Invictus Games.
“The selection committee narrowed it down, and they selected individuals that would most embody that Invictus spirit and who would most benefit from the whole Invictus experience,” said Hurov.
While Team Canada will compete for the top spots in their individual sports, Hurov wants people to know the Invictus Games are not just about winning medals. It’s about the showcasing Invictus spirit.
“Prince Harry brought it up at the last games, it’s about the journey of power and sport and healing and I think it’s really important that people know that,” said Hurov.
PO1 Joe Kiraly proudly manages Team Canada and believes the Invictus Games play an important role in the lives of ill and injured CAF members and veterans for many reasons.
“It is an opportunity for athletes to represent their nation and wear the flag again; to rebuild and strengthen relationships with their peers who share a common bond and experiences; to demonstrate their resilience while inspiring our nation; and, finally, to thank their family and friends for their ongoing support,” said Kiraly.