Everything you need to know about the Sydney Invictus Games this October; from the history of the games to navigating Sydney and how to get to and from the airport.
What are the Invictus Games?
An initiative launched by HRH Prince Harry, the Invictus Games are an international, multi-sport event open to ‘sick, wounded and injured’ (current and former) service personnel to compete in. This year they’re headed to Australia, where the fourth Invictus Games will take place in Sydney between 20-27 October 2018.
Created in 2014 after Prince Harry attended the Warrior Games, a similar event in the US for wounded veterans, the Invictus Games have previously taken place in London (2014), Orlando (2016) and Toronto (2017).
‘Invictus’ means ‘Unconquered’, and the Invictus Games organisers say that ‘it embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick service personnel and personifies what these tenacious men and women can achieve post injury.’
Similar to the Paralympics, you’ll find adaptive sports at the Invictus Games; traditional sports that have been modified to make them more accessible, from wheelchair basketball to sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby.
There will be a total of 11 sporting events at the Sydney event, with the full list including;
- Indoor Rowing
- Volleyball (sitting)
- Wheelchair basketball
- Wheelchair rugby
- Road cycling and road para-cycling
- The Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge
Sydney will see the addition of sailing, making use of the glittering Sydney Harbour.
Who is competing?
More than 500 athletes from 18 nations will descend into Sydney for this year’s Invictus Games, including athletes from Canada, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, Poland, Italy, the US, Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Jordan.
Nations who are military allies to the United Kingdom are invited to participate in the Invictus games.
The 2018 Sydney event
Most events will be held at Sydney’s Olympic Park, in the same venues that hosted the 2000 Sydney Olympics, while sailing and road cycling events will take place around Sydney Harbour.
Prince Harry will be making the voyage to Sydney too, and given that it was at the Invictus Games in Toronto where he and Meghan Markle made their first public appearance, it is speculated that Ms Markle will attend too, making this quite a royal affair.
Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport is located in the nearby suburb of Mascot, and is Sydney’s only airport, as well as Australia’s busiest.
The easiest and most convenient way to get to and from Sydney airport is with a pre-booked airport transfer, especially if you’re travelling as a group or family and want to get to and from your hotel (or straight to the sporting venue) with the least amount of hassle. Shared shuttles from Sydney airport to the Sydney CBD start at AUD$16, and private transfers start at AUD$55.
Jayride.com works with lots of local Sydney airport transfer companies, so instead of waiting forever in line for a taxi, make sure you pre-book your transfer. Whether you prefer a shared shuttle or a private car, let Jayride.com take care of that part of your journey.
Once in Sydney, you’ll need to purchase an Opal card if you wish to use public transport; that includes trains, buses – and ferries! Yep, in Sydney, do as the locals and get around the beautiful harbour in one of the iconic green and yellow ferries.
With events being staged across the Greater Sydney region, tickets are available to purchase separately for each event, as well as some free events, including the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge. Adult tickets for each event start at AUD$20, with tickets for finals starting at AUD$25, and if you’d like to attend the closing ceremony on October 27, tickets start at AUD$50.
The ticketing prices have been deliberately set quite low to ensure that it’s easy for people to come along and enjoy the sporting fun, making it accessible for everyone. After all, accessibility and inclusion is what the Invictus Games are all about!
Concession prices are available, including for veterans and defence force personnel. For more information about tickets, and to purchase them, head to the official Invictus games website.
If you’re heading to Australia’s Harbour City for the Invictus Games, make the most of exploring everything Sydney has on offer. Walk across the iconic Harbour Bridge, get your foodie fix in Chinatown, admire the sparkling Harbour from Circular Quay, wander through the Sydney Botanic Gardens, check out the bohemian suburb of Newtown, take a tour of the Sydney Opera House… the list is endless when it comes to fantastic things to do in Sydney.