New moderators appointed for We Are Invictus
8 new moderators drawn from previous Invictus Games host nations have now been appointed to support the Invictus Games Foundation in their work with international wounded injured or sick Service personnel and veterans (WIS).
Facilitating the use of the custom-built We Are Invictus platform and app, the moderators will be supporting the team with helping source more opportunities for recovery, and ensuring that more members of the community are able to access the support network.
The platform is primarily for those who are on their recovery journey following injury or illness during or as a result of service, but is not exclusively for those who have done an Invictus Games. For those who feel like they might no longer need the Games or the platform for their own recovery, it also exists to provide a mechanism for giving back, helping others, and continuing to serve.
Thanks to funding from the Newman’s Own Award and the Veterans’ Foundation, the new We Are Invictus moderators are able to do just that, and support the Foundation in looking out for their fellow WIS from across the world, over the next two years. In turn, they will receive support and training in mental health first aid, communications, and gain experience in community management.
From Australia Mark Reidy and Mark Blowers were selected as moderators. Mark Reidy said, “As a moderator, I would like to spread the awareness and connections to our many regional and rural WIS in Australia. I think We Are Invictus is a great initiative to not only bring the Invictus Family together globally but also to connect with other WIS veterans who need a connection and belonging that may feel isolated.”
Meera Kanojia, from Canada, shared that “I became a moderator because I am an ill and injured veteran and learned from my own recovery journey how to manage and cope with my daily challenges. I want to be able to share and learn how others are using their own recovery sports to help themselves.”
From the UK, thanks to funding from the Veterans’ Foundation, Alex Krov, Michelle Turner, and Paul ‘Midge’ Hartley are joining the platform as moderators.
Alex Krol, from Team UK at the Invictus Games Orlando 2016, said, “I feel Invictus has given us the competitors so much in terms of both personal and social development. It’s only right that we give something back and share that all important Invictus Spirit with the next generation and the wider WIS community.”
Former Team UK Vice Captain, Michelle Turner said that “I have had my life turned around by the help of the Invictus Games Foundation and I feel after everything I have been through I would love to give back and help others. No amount of my time will ever be enough to repay what I have been afforded by the Foundation. But I see my role now is to pass on everything I have learnt throughout my recovery journey and help others in any way I can.”
Competitor Paul ‘Midge’ Hartley said “The community aspect of the site is one of the most important features for me. From my perspective, this element has become more crucial as a result of the current pandemic where you can easily feel isolated or cut-off from your friends, family or normal support network.” He went on to say, “The platform can help you, no matter what your goals are, and it not just limited to sports recovery. It can provide you will a raft of information ranging from adventure challenges, employment opportunities, discussion activities, research participation, volunteering to name but a few.”
From the USA, thanks to funding from the Newman’s Own Award, the new moderators are Brandi Evans and Melissa Coduti, with more moderators from the States coming on board later this year.
Former Invictus Games Team USA competitor, Brandi Evans said, “I applied to be a moderator because I have been changed by adaptive sports. I have always felt a bit lost, until I found the Invictus Games. I have met so many people along the journey in the adaptive sports world, that I could not imagine my life without them. And I want to be able to tell individuals about the sports, the Games, and the family that you build.”
Another former competitor, Melissa Coduti, said, “Being a part of something greater than yourself is why the app is so important. The platform connects you with people all over the world and you never feel alone. Someone is always available to be on your journey. We get to have friendly rivalry, competition, and think outside the box to stay connected through athletics. We heal through support and together we are stronger.”
Applications for new moderators to join this cohort have launched, and the Invictus Games Foundation will be looking for further applications from Canada, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Ukraine and the USA. For details, head here: https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/next-round-of-volunteer-moderator-applications-now-open/