Invictus Games - Feature

By Aroha Treacher

While the world spotlight is on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, hundreds of athletes are preparing for a different kind of world sporting competition.

The inaugural Invictus Games, is an event for the wounded, injured and sick servicemen.

In just over six weeks, 12 brave NZ servicemen and woman will be heading to the Invictus Games with more than 400 other competitors from 14 different countries.

The 12 stronghold have gathered together from all over the country to begin their training week at the Burnham Military Camp.

For Dion Taka, he is defying medical odds by walking again, something that seemed almost impossible two years ago.

According to Dion Taka, “I've spilt blood for this country on foreign soil, so much so that I almost never came back.”

On August 4, 2012 Taka and his unit were shot with enemy fire in Afghanistan in the Battle of Baghak.

In a matter of minutes, two NZ soldiers were dead and Taka had been shot through his torso.

He's come a long way since then, and going to the Games is a welcome distraction from the daily pain he has to live with.

The team is a competitive bunch and getting them in shape has been a major step in their rehabilitation not only on the outside but the inside too. Despite some of the disabilities the group bares, they remain focused to the task at hand.

The Invictus Games is being driven by Prince Harry as a road to recovery for servicemen and as an opportunity to celebrate what can be achieved post injury.