Meet the Kiwis participating in the Invictus Games

The Kiwi team rubbed shoulders with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto last year and, this time, he and wife - The Duchess of Sussex - are going to fly back from Sydney to Wellington with the New Zealand team.

Each of the Kiwis has a personal and inspiring story of a long journey to overcome injuries and post-traumatic stress as a result of their service in the Defence Force.  

Watch the video to learn more about each competitor, and to find out what participating in the Games means to them.


Bart was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer 4 years ago.  Chief Petty Officer Couprie has been in the Navy for 32 years. 

COMPETING IN: Wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, rowing, sailing and discus.


Megan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009. Corporal Marshall has been in the air force for 13 years. 

COMPETING IN: Powerlifting, indoor rowing and swimming.


Naval Petty Officer Matairangi is an electronic technician in the Navy. He was diagnosed with lung and testicular cancer 11 years ago, at the age of just 25. The lung cancer grew so big it pushed his heart to the opposite side of his chest. 

Last year he was part of the archery team that won bronze. 

COMPETING IN: Archery, sailing.


Steve was in the army for eight years. He was shot in the arm during a training exercise and lost most of the feeling through half his body at the time.

COMPETING IN: Sailing, indoor rowing, wheelchair basketball.


Damien suffered burns to 40 percent of his body after an armoured tank he was travelling in during a training exercise rolled and he was trapped for up to 30 minutes. 

COMPETING IN: Rowing, archery, powerlifting. 


Ben was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after six years in the Army in the regular force and four years in the territorials. 

COMPETING IN: Sailing, discus, bench press.


Craig was in the army for 20 years. The army officer with the SAS was wounded in Afghanistan during the Battle of Baghak.

COMPETING IN: Cycling, indoor rowing, athletics.


Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome. Major Pepper has been in the army for 22 years. 

COMPETING IN: Archery, rowing, wheelchair basketball and cycling.


Daryl suffered two events that had an impact on his career - a back injury when he landed badly after jumping off a truck in Bosnia in 1995 and being stung by a scorpion while on deployment in East Timor in 2001. He has since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

COMPETING IN: Wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, sailing. 


Darren was diagnosed four years ago with Parkinsons. He is an army chaplain and has been serving for 12 years. 

COMPETING IN: Indoor rowing, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, golf. 


PJ was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Warrant Officer Class 1, Harimate has been in the army for 32 years. 

COMPETING IN: Golf, cycling, rowing, archery, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball. 


Matthew was wounded in Afghanistan when he was shot through the ankle. Lance Corporal Vangioni has been in the army for 15 years. 

COMPETING IN: Wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, athletics.


Kelly was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sergeant Whittle has beein the army 16 years as medic and was deployed to Afghanistan. 

COMPETING IN: Cycling, shotput, discus, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball.


Tiny suffered a knee injury while on a training exercise which was exacerbated over the years through playing sports. Tiny was in the army for 27 years as an electrician before becoming an NZDF civilian employee six years ago. 

COMPETING IN: Wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, rowing. 


Nu lost his leg in a training exercise in Waiouru. A round was picked up and placed in the rubbish and, as he was cleaning up, the round exploded. Nu was in the army for 10 and a half years. 

COMPETING IN: Rowing, power lifting, wheel chair rugby, wheelchair basketball, shotput, discus.


Gareth has been in the army for 16 years as a medic - serving in the Christchurch earthquake, Islands in the South-East Pacific after events and Afghanistan on numerous occasions. Gareth says the accumulative effect of those events eventually had a psychological impact on him. 

COMPETING IN: Sailing, swimming, wheelchair basketball.


Jules has hip injuries after a 21-year career in the army and now as an NZDF civilian employee. 

COMPETING IN: Wheelchair tennis, basketball, wheelchair rugby, discus. 


In 1989 George Nepata had a serious spinal injury while serving in Singapore. He was on a stretcher during a training exercise and was dropped and broke c5/6 veterbrae, leaving him paralysed from the chest down leaving him quadraplegic.  George was in the army for five years. 

COMPETING IN: Archery, wheelchair rugby. 


Grant was an 18-year-old army reservist 29-years ago when a diving accident left him a quadraplegic. Grant has been a competitive para-shooter for 12 years, representing New Zealand at two World Champs and a number of World Cups. 



Koro had an injury while on a training exercise when his hearing protection fell out just as a rocket launcher was fired - over time he developed tinnitus. He had to have a hip replacement seven years ago and worked with the mental impact of that. Warrant Officer Class 2 Hati has been in the army for 23 years. Last year he won team bronze in archery. 

COMPETING IN: Archery, wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing and driving.


In 1982, while the army, Steve was involved in a motorbike crash while returning to Trentham Camp from leave. His worst injury was a smashed pelvis, which wasn't repaired at the time; 36 years later he needs to use a wheelchair as his pelvis cannot support him while standing. 

COMPETING IN: Swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis.


Vanessa was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She had a 26 year career in the army and is now an NZDF civilian employee. 

COMPETING IN: Discus, shotput, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis.


Nicki was an 18 year old in the Air Force when the motorbike she was riding pillion crashed in 1988. 

COMPETING IN: Archery, swimming.


Corporal Kaa has been in the army for 35 years. 

COMPETING IN: Wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, sailing, archery, rowing, powerlifting.

The games run from October 20 - 27.

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