Former New Zealand Special Air Service soldier Jason Pore will compete in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, discus, shot put and rowing at the Invictus Games.
13 September 2017
Sharing experiences and learning from others is the key for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Invictus Games team captain Jason Pore.
The Invictus Games is the only international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill active duty and veteran service members. This year’s event, in Toronto, Canada, from 23-30 September, will be the largest yet, with 550 ill and injured servicemen and women from 17 allied nations – including 24 from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) – competing in 12 adaptive sporting events.
Pore, from Kawerau in eastern Bay of Plenty, is a former New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS) soldier who lost his lower left leg while serving in Afghanistan in 2003.
He will compete in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, discus, shot put and rowing at the Games.
He considers himself fortunate to be part of the team and share common ground with the other athletes.
“Reflecting on some of the challenging years since my accident and sitting down with the athletes in the team and discussing our journeys has been a very humbling experience,” he said.
Sport in the NZDF promotes teamwork, excellence, fitness and wellbeing – and it can help in the recovery of those who have been injured, wounded or unwell during their service to their country.
Following his accident Pore found the sports arena a place where he could be equal with his peers.
“I wanted to compete at the Invictus Games and feel the thrill that competing brings, and also have the chance to be the best – this has always brought me so much satisfaction and joy,” he said.
“The Games unites all three services with one common goal – the rehabilitation of its soldiers through adaptive sports.”
Family is important in recovery from injury and Pore said his family had been his rock, supporting him no matter what.
“I strongly believe the road to recovery is within the biggest support group and that is whānau.
“The trials and challenges that I went through after the accident were shared by my family and friends. I learnt a lot from the negative times and with help from my support team I was able to channel my energy into doing more positive and creative things.”
He looks at himself now and shrugs off any resentment, focussing on today and the exciting future that lies ahead for him and his family.
“My quality of life is governed by research and new technology, not waiting for a miracle cure or trying to get out of a dark place,” he said.