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Andrew Wilkinson

ADF Service: I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2003 as an Aviation Technician – Airframes, and medically discharged in 2014. During my service I served at No. 817 Squadron and No. 808 Squadron, was posted to HMA Ships Manoora, Kanimbla and Success. I deployed to Timor-Leste, Fiji and Ashmore Reef/Christmas Island.

Age: 41

Home town: Karratha, Western Australia

Current town: Glenfield, New South Wales

Competing in: Athletics, cycling, indoor rowing and swimming

Andrew Wilkinson

What is the nature of your injury or illness?

I had two back operations for bulged discs which left a nerve squashed on the right side of my lower back. This caused left foot drop and muscle degeneration down the left side of my body.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

From a very young age, I had always been involved in sport. It started with swimming when I was five, then cycling and triathlons when I was 12. Sport gives me a way out. It gives me the chance to turn everything off, including the brain, if only for a few hours. Sport is a way of improving not just my physical well-being but my mental wellbeing as well. The fitter I am, the happier I am.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games?

Applying and training for Invictus Games The Hague 2020 will help me with the drive, mentally and physically, to continue to train and consolidate what I have already accomplished. Invictus Games The Hague 2020 will be used as a stepping stone to compete in future competitions. During the lead up to these Games I hope to pass on my experiences and help new competitors in the Adaptive Sports Program achieve their full potential both mentally and physically.

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

Seeing the first-time competitors in the team. Seeing the looks on their faces during and after the Games. This includes the excitement of the occasion and the will to continue in their chosen sport to improve their lives and continue on their journey to recovery.

The person I most admire is...

There are too many to mention.