New We Are Invictus moderators appointed from Canada and New Zealand
Following the appointment of 8 moderators from Australia, the UK and the USA, the Invictus Games Foundation are delighted to announce that 4 new representatives from Canada and New Zealand have now joined the team!
These volunteers are drawn from the community of international wounded injured or sick service personnel, and will be supporting the Foundation to source more opportunities for recovery, and ensure that a greater number of the community are able to access the We Are Invictus support network.
Joining from Canada are Mat Belear, and Garth Wigle. Mat took part in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, in Wheelchair Rugby, in which he was captain of Team Unconquered, as well as Indoor Rowing and Golf and Archery. Garth volunteered at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 as a fleet driver supporting the organisers. Since then, Garth has joined Soldier On/Sans Limites and gotten into Archery. Through the We Are Invictus app, he’s taken part in the Powered By Invictus leagues, connecting him to the wider community.
Joining from New Zealand are Robert ‘Tiny’ Graham and Stacey Adam. Stacey has been a Royal New Zealand Air Force Medic for over 17 years who deployed to Afghanistan in 2008. Stacey is now preparing to take part in the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, which is scheduled to take place in April, 2022. Tiny has taken part in the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 and Sydney 2018, and is now on board with the New Zealand team as a coach, mentor and kaumatua (team cultural advisor).
On successfully being appointed to represent Canada Mat said, “I think the platform is an excellent way for past and present Invictus competitors to stay connected. It is an extraordinary platform; as the worst thing I think a Vet goes through is being alone. Being a part of the platform as a user allows exciting opportunities to be presented, job opportunities. Even going on the site or App sends me fond memories. I am extremely honoured to be given the opportunity to give back, especially since I have received so much from the Games and Community.” Garth added, “To anyone thinking about joining the We Are Invictus platform, don’t wait. Join now. It is a friendly, welcoming, sharing community of international Wounded, Injured, and Sick veterans and serving members striving to be their best in challenging circumstances.”
As new New Zealand representatives, Tiny said, “In essence, I think the Invictus Games concept is phenomenal, the experiences that me and my family have had from the 2 games I participated in as a competitor have been second to none, and that’s from a Professional rugby player who has travelled the world!! If I could be that conduit to our New Zealand fraternity and be able to not only share my experiences but to aid in the journey of others to me would be the icing on the cake. I do actually feel VERY privileged to have been given that opportunity.” Stacey shared, “I have really come to value the way sport and exercise encourages rehabilitation and I want people to know that’s its “okay to not be okay” and that it’s also ok to be last because it’s about participation and that’s what I want to promote.”
The We Are Invictus platform is primarily for those who are on their recovery journey following injury or illness during or as a result of service, but is not exclusively for those who have done an Invictus Games. For those who feel like they might no longer need the Games or the platform for their own recovery, it also exists to provide a mechanism for giving back, helping others, and continuing to serve.
Thanks to funding from the Newman’s Own Award and the Veterans’ Foundation, the new We Are Invictus moderators are able to do just that, and support the Foundation in looking out for their fellow WIS from across the world, over the next two years. In turn, they will receive support and training in mental health first aid, communications, and gain experience in community management.
Find out more about Team Canada here and Team New Zealand here.
If you want more information on applying to be a WIS moderator for your nation, then email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and the application form. You will need to be an existing member of weareinvictus.co.uk.