On Friday the 26th of October, Rivendell staff and students attended the Invictus Games at Homebush Olympic Park in Sydney.
We were shown around some of the facilities at the arena, which included the dressing room for the athletes before heading up to the highest point in the stadium – quite a shock for some of the students and staff alike.
We saw a number of track and field events. One of the events we saw was the wheelchair 1500 metre race, in which an Australian won a gold medal. He finished the race by such a large margin that he lapped the competitor running in last place. However, after he had won the race, he continued on to complete an extra lap to support that athlete to the finish. It showed what real sportsmanship means and it was a strong memory for our students.
We were also able to meet with current members of our Rivendell community who were volunteering at the games: two staff who are servicemen in the Australian Army Reserve and a senior student helping with the ambulance service on-site. Rivendell is proud to have these members serving our community.
Unfortunately our students were unable to meet the Duke and Duchess of Essex as they were busy with other duties. Better luck next time Rivendell.
One student particularly enjoyed the last race we saw on the day, which featured war veterans suffering PTSD, stating “I loved the race for mental health, because it showed me that you can still do everyday things despite having a mental illness.”
Overall it was a valuable outing and we hope the students gained a lot of benefit from the trip.
Congratulation to all athletes.