Invictus games opportunity teaches Wellington students about disability

Wellington High School students from the Year 11 Community and Family Studies and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education cohorts were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the most recent Invictus games. 

Photo: Dillon Price

Photo: Dillon Price

As part of their CAFS coursework, the students had been examining and working through different aspects of life with disabilities and the challenges posed, as a result, teacher Dillon Price pushed for the students to be taken to the Invictus games. 

“The course we study at the moment, this course in particular and the part that these guys study is people with a disability, so it tied in really well and there were some educational aspects that were separate from the Invictus games themselves,” Mr Price said. 

The Invictus games are an annual sporting event, created by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, that strives to give wounded war veterans an opportunity to represent their nations in sporting events across the world. 

The fourth iteration of the games was held in Sydney this year, coinciding with the royal visit. 

While there, students experienced a talk by Lorin Nicholson, a singer-songwriter and author who was diagnosed with a genetic eye disease early in life that left him with less than ten percent of his vision. 

“[The hardest part about being blind, for him] wasn’t the fact that he couldn't see, but more how people who saw him treated him,” Heidi Parkes said. 

Most of all, though, the kids were left astounded by the sense of camaraderie and mate-ship on display during the games. 

“The atmosphere was completely different to the Olympics or even football matches. They were very accepting of everybody and everybody’s really just there to support each other. They were hugging each other before they started every race, encouraging each other, even coaches from other countries were encouraging the other competitors,” Ms Parkes said.