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Sapper Thomas Foster

ADF Service: I joined the Australian Army in 2015 as a Combat Engineer. I am currently posted to the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment in Darwin as a section member of Engineer Reconnaissance.

Age: 31

Hometown: Perth, Western Australia

Current town: Darwin, Northern Territory

Competing in: Indoor rowing and swimming

Sapper Thomas Foster

What is the Nature of your injury or illness?

I was injured while on an exercise in 2016, resulting in a complete tear in major ligaments in my left ankle. During 2017 I underwent two ankle reconstructions to repair the ankle joint. However, I still experience chronic pain in my left ankle and a severe lack of mobility in the joint.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

Throughout my rehabilitation, swimming has become a large outlet for me to feel that I can still achieve goals and maintain focus. Over the course of my two surgeries I lost a lot of my fitness and personal drive because I was restricted from walking and weight-bearing exercise for several months at a time.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

It is making Team Australia for Invictus Games 2018. Getting my rehabilitation to the point of being able to trial and then make the team has been both mentally and physically challenging.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games 2018?

A colleague suggested that I apply and so I did. Little did I know then what an amazing experience and opportunity it would turn out to be. Preparing for the Games has also given me a direction to navigate my recovery.

What will “winning” look like for you at these Games?

For me, winning is getting to compete in the pool and after my swim to know that I have given it my absolute best.

The person I most admire is…

My grandfather, Frederick De Lacy, who passed away last year. When he was alive, he was always very supportive of his family pursuing their dreams, whatever they may have entailed.