After a two-year delay, the 2022 Invictus Games are finally underway in The Netherlands!
Physical Performance Coordinator for the Invictus Pathways Program (IPP) Dr Max Nelson has been integral in helping wounded, injured and ill current and former serving military members prepare for the Games, and is now currently with them supporting and cheering them on as they compete!
Proudly supported by Military and Emergency Services Health Australia and run by the University of South Australia (UniSA), the IPP assists current and former serving military and first-response personnel who have physical, emotional and/or psychological challenges as a result from their service.
As one aspect of the IPP, in the lead up to the Games, Max has been busy training participants with a military background to firstly make the Australian Invictus team and then prepare for the Games, with this year being no different.
“COVID initially delayed these Games which was scheduled back in 2020 so it’s been a long journey for these participants and I’m glad we’re finally here,” Max said.
“These past few weeks we focussed a lot more on quality rather than quantity as we got closer to the events. Our students – under the supervision of our staff team – worked hard in conjunction with the IPP participants competing at the Games to ensure they were in the best possible shape.”
Max’s job over the duration of the Games is to provide ‘Sport Support’, meaning he will be responsible for organising the movement of athletes within and around their events, including warm-ups, diet, rest and recovery and timetables.
“It is important to have someone with a strong handle on sporting competition and the demands the competitors are exposed to in these kinds of roles,” Max said.
“I hope myself and my IPP colleagues attending the Games can provide a lot of value through this – we are certainly honoured to be attending!”
The Invictus Games, founded by Prince Harry, uses the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick service men and women.
Max has seen firsthand the positive impact that participants have had in their IPP journey which has led some of them to the Games.
“It’s hard to describe the impact in a short number of words. A participant recently said to me: ‘as a result of this program, I just feel so much better… and although I didn’t realise it coming in, that’s the best thing I could have asked for’. If we can make people feel better, whatever that comes from, then we have done our job,” Max said.
“All of our participants have been working extremely hard in so many aspects of their lives. Just seeing them out there will be an incredible result. No matter how the journey ends, it will still have been incredibly worthwhile.”
If you’re interested in joining the Invictus Pathways Program, click here.