Former New Zealand Army vehicle mechanic Steve Fell is extremely proud to be part of the 2017 New Zealand Defence Force Invictus Games team.
8 September 2017
Former New Zealand Army vehicle mechanic Steve Fell is swapping the bright lights of Brisbane for the tranquil setting of Toronto as he competes in his first Invictus Games.
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.
Fell, a Kiwi living in Brisbane who hails from Ashburton, will compete in a number of sports at the Games.
He suffered an accident in 1982 that left him with multiple injuries, including a crushed pelvis, which was not repaired.
“Thirty-five years later I need to use a wheelchair for mobility because my pelvis can not support me standing – the pain is too much. My life now revolves around managing my pain,” he said.
However, this has not stopped him from achieving his goals. After seeing some members of the Australian Invictus Games Team speak at a rugby function last year he was hooked and applied to represent his country at this year’s Games.
“I enjoy sport and I like to compete,” he said. “The Invictus spirit I experienced at my first training camp in 2016 was electric.
“All the personnel involved were there not only for themselves, but also to make sure that the rest of the team were doing physically and mentally well. I am so very proud to be part of the 2017 team.”
The Games use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate awareness of the physical and psychological injuries sustained by wounded warriors.
Fell said he never lost sight of being able to succeed in any challenge or obstacle placed in front of him despite his injuries.
“One of the hardest things you can do in life is make that break from the military career you had. Getting back and experiencing the comradeship of Invictus with fellow military personnel is just like riding a bike – I love it,” he said.
The NZDF team is sponsored by the Auckland RSA, Christchurch Memorial RSA, Fulton Hogan, BLK and Offlimits Trust.