With less than a month to go until the Invictus Games kicks off, Garry Robinson is hard at work training.
The Camden Park resident will take on a field of talented war veterans at the games, where he will compete in archery, cycling and swimming.
The Invictus Games, conceived by Prince Harry, are held each year and feature wounded, injured and ill veterans in a variety of sporting fields. This year’s event will be held in Sydney from October 20-27.
Mr Robinson, who was severely injured in a Blackhawk helicopter crash in 2010, has competed in every Invictus Games so far and has come to know Prince Harry.
“I’ve met him at least a dozen times and he remembers who I am by name,” Mr Robinson said.
“He introduced me to Meghan Markle last time.”
Mr Robinson’s chances of securing gold at the games have been given a boost with some new gear from sponsors Wests Group Macarthur.
The club funded a spotting scope and 12 new arrows for his Invictus Games campaign.
“I’m very grateful to the Wests Group for their support,” Mr Robinson said.
“The spotting scope is a vital piece of equipment, because it allows me to see exactly where my arrow landed and make those minute adjustments pretty quickly.”
Wests chief executive Tony Mathew said he was honoured to support the local hero.
“When you hear Garry’s story, his injuries and the incredible work both himself and his family have put into his recovery, you can’t help but be in awe of their strength,” he said. “We can’t wait to see Garry compete in Sydney in October.”
Mr Robinson has been competing in archery for two years now and loved the sport.
“I’m a very good marksman because of my military service and many of those skills transfer into archery,” he said. “I’ve got a great coach and he knew right away that I was going to have some skills in archery because of my training.”
Mr Robinson said the Invictus Games were special because of the sense of “camaraderie” and the overwhelming support from spectators.
“It’s a bit like the Olympics, but even more special,” he said. “Often the people coming last will get the biggest cheers, and you’ll have competitors stopping to help their opposition across the line. It’s not just about winning.”