Former Whakatane woman Paulette Doctor is heading to Canada, to compete in her 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 from 23–30 September, will be the largest yet, with 550 ill and injured servicemen and women from 16 allied nations — including 24 from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) — competing in 12 adaptive sporting events.
Able Communications Warfare Specialist Doctor, who serves in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), will compete in discus, shotput, sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby.
She is a double breast cancer survivor and is officially in remission.
“I was inspired by all those who have attended the previous Invictus Games and I promised myself when I returned to work following my illness that I was going to step outside my comfort zone and apply for the next Games,” she said.
The commitment of those participating is testament to their individual courage, and to their conviction to face their challenges with a fighting spirit.”
To be part of the team meant she knew she was not alone in her struggle, she said.
“I’ve realised that although I have had difficult times with my illness there are others out there fighting a tougher battle.
“If I can be there to support in any way possible it is where I want to be. I have also gained so much courage and support from the team.”
She has been in the RNZN for 18 years and said she was proud to represent her family, the NZDF and her country.
“I am passionate about my role as a mother and hope that I can make my husband, son and whanau proud at the Invictus Games.”
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.
The NZDF team is sponsored by the Auckland RSA, Christchurch Memorial RSA, Fulton Hogan, BLK and Offlimits Trust.