The teams battle it out at Devonport Naval Base
28 April 2016
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Invictus Games team took on staff from key sponsors in a wheelchair basketball showdown at Devonport Naval Base yesterday.
The team, who have been concentrating in Auckland this week before heading to the 2016 Invictus Games, took the opportunity to thank a few of their sponsors in the best way they knew how — by strapping them into wheelchairs and challenging them to three games of basketball.
Out of the three friendly games, the first two were claimed by the NZDF team, while the third game was a mix of the team and sponsors on each side, which ended in a tie.
Matthew Rolston, Business Development Manager at BLK Sport said it was incredible to play against the NZDF team.
“We had a couple of professional sports people on our team, but the Kiwi Team were quicker and more agile. We were struggling!” he said.
For some members of the NZDF team, this was the first time they competed in adaptive sports — with only a few months training in their own time to get ready to compete at the games.
Jacob Baker, a diesel mechanic from Fulton Hogan was impressed with the level at which the NZDF team played.
"It's a lot harder than it looks. Seeing men and women who have been injured playing like that is amazing, it's really inspired me,” he said.
The team, made up of injured, wounded and ill current and ex-servicemen and women have been in training since August last year. They will compete against 500 athletes from 14 others countries at the second Invictus Games, held 8-12 May at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
The team is sponsored by The Auckland and Christchurch RSAs, Fulton Hogan, BLK Sport, the OffLimits Trust, and The Fallen Heroes Trust.
You can follow their journey on Facebook.com/InvictusGamesNZ
For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980