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Army March 14, 2013
NINE soldiers have taken on 308
international competitors in the US
Marine Corps Paralympic Trials.
Starting on February 28 and run-
ning for six days, the competitors
from around the globe gave their all in
archery, shooting, swimming, cycling,
track, field, wheelchair basketball and
All athletes gathered at US Base
Camp Pendleton, between Los Angeles
and San Diego, to compete as either US
East, US West, US Veterans or Allied
It is an important part of the ADF's
Exercise Wounded Warrior Program,
run by the ADF Paralympic Sports
The challenge of competing in sport
with injured coalition soldiers and
enjoying the camaraderie is the tonic
helping wounded ADF personnel on the
long road to rehabilitation.
ADFPSP uses adaptive sport to opti-
mise functional independence, physi-
cal fitness and promote a positive self-
image and self-esteem.
Exercise Wounded Warrior team
leader WO1 Scott Mengel said the trials
provided soldiers with the adrenaline
rush and confidence to take the next
steps in their long road to rehabilitation.
"With Exercise Wounded Warrior the
ADF is doing a great service for veter-
ans who need to challenge themselves in
ways that their wounds allow," he said.
"Wounded Warrior provides injured
and wounded ADF personnel with the
opportunity to challenge themselves,
and to demonstrate that with cour-
age and commitment they can achieve
anything they wish to -- especially in
regards to sports."
Spr Curtis McGrath is one of the
members who lined up to go head-to-
head with others wounded or injured
in service. He lost both legs in an IED
blast in Afghanistan last year.
In what symbolises a giant step in
Spr McGrath's recovery he competed in
the trials against several hundred other
wounded Coalition soldiers only three
months after learning to walk on pros-
Spr McGrath, of 21 Const Sqn,
competed in swimming, archery and the
wheel-chair basketball events.
"I used to swim competitively when
I was in high school, but obviously I
had legs then," he said.
"If I do win any medals that would
be great, but at this stage I'm only hop-
ing to win the respect of the other com-
petitors who are wounded coalition sol-
diers like me."
For more information go to www.army.gov.au/
More details and final results from the competi-
tion in the next edition of Army
ADF members take on competitors from around the gl
Winter fun: Capt Christopher Isles, Sgt Craig Hansen, Sgt Adam Fowles and Cpl James Bromley have
taken part in the Canadian and Allied Forces Winter Sports camp at Whistler as part of the Wounded
Photo by Cpl Max Bree
Cpl Max Bree
FOUR wounded soldiers hit the slopes
of Mt Whistler as part of the Canadian
Soldier On Winter Sports camp from
February 27 to March 8.
The team joined about 36 other
wounded, injured and ill soldiers from
the US, UK and Canada, hoping to
acquire new skills in para-alpine skiing,
para-snowboarding, para-Nordic ski-
ing, sledge hockey, para-biathlon and
wheelchair curling, with a Paralympic
Games-type finale to close out the
They learnt and then competed in
modified versions of snowboarding,
biathlon, dog sledding, curling and
Capt Christopher Isles, one of the
four competitors, said the event helped
push their physical and mental bounda-
"It takes people out of the bounds
of their rehab and throws them into the
winter snow," he said. "It's about test-
ing yourself in a different environment
and pushing yourself a bit more.
"Also the opportunity to sit down
and talk with other wounded members
from other nations is incredibly help-
ful."It also improves the soldier's self-
confidence, which aids in the rehabilita-
tion and recovery process and is aimed
at helping military personnel return to
an active lifestyle through sport and
The Canadian Soldier On program
was founded in 2007 as a joint initiative
between the Department of National
Defence and the Canadian Paralympic
Committee, which will help organise
this year's winter program in Whistler
for the first time since the program
began at Whistler in 2010.
This year's competitors will experi-
ence a much more comprehensive camp
and package being offered to the sol-
diers as they not only participate in tra-
ditional sports offered through Whistler
Adaptive like alpine skiing and snow-
boarding, but curling, skidooing and
hockey to add a Canadian flavour.
Those taking part were also able
to into a true Canadian breakfast with
pancakes, French toast and maple
Further details in the next edition of Army
Wounded soldiers take part in winter sports camp
Good sport: Pte Nathan Whittington leads the Australian team at the opening ceremony of the US Marine
Corps Paralympic Trials.
THE first results from the Marine
Corps trials are in and the Australian
team is once again picking up an
impressive medal count.
In track and field events, Sgt
Sarah Webster won gold in the
1500m and 100m finals, while Pte
Nathan Whittington won gold in the
In the pool, Spr Curtis McGrath
and Sgt Webster both won gold in
their 50m and 100m freestyle events.
Spr McGrath came through again
in the 50m backstroke to win gold
while Sgt Webster picked up silver.
More results and details from the
trip will feature next edition.
AUSSIES STRONG ON WATER AND TRACK
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