The Invictus Games come to Sydney: Q&A with CEO Patrick Kidd
Patrick Kidd has worked tirelessly to bring the Invictus Games to Australia and SRi’s Managing Partner in Australia, Jonathan Harris, had the chance to speak with him shortly after Sydney was announced as the 2018 hosts.
With less than two years until 500 competitors from 17 countries arrive in Sydney to compete in 11 sports, Kidd revealed a bit more about how the Games were won, and how he plans to get the Australian public behind the Games.
Q. Hi Patrick, the Invictus Games are coming to Sydney in 2018, can you tell us a little bit about the journey to get the Games to Australia?
It’s been a really exciting journey to get to this point. It was a competitive bidding process between the NSW and Queensland Government’s to host the Games. Both bids to host the Games were compelling and the energy from both States made the whole venture possible. While Sydney’s bid was successful, we look forward to making this a national Games.
We are very grateful for the support of our strategic partners in the bid for the Invictus Games – the Australian Department of Defence and the NSW Government. We must also recognise Deloitte for the leadership and support they have given us to getting the Games to this point. We are excited about working with existing and new partners as well as the broader Australian community to deliver the Invictus Games to Australia in October 2018.
Q. Why Sydney?
Sydney is very well placed to stage the 2018 Invictus Games, with its global significance and the iconic nature of the city. Sydney will be a great host for the Games – we have a proud ANZAC spirit and dozens of beautiful locations for competition. S ydney will draw on the diverse nature of all the different nationalities living in Sydney to get behind the Invictus Games’ activities and events.
Sydney has a proud military heritage, and with 2018 marking 100 years of the end of World War I, Sydney will welcome competitors from all over the world with open arms.
Furthermore, Sydney has a great history of sporting events and will really get behind our competitors. We have great venues to host the Invictus Games, such as Sydney Olympic Park and the beautiful Sydney Harbour. The Opera House will be a significant venue for us as well.
Q. Can you tell us more about the Invictus Games and what they stand for?
Founded by Prince Harry in 2014 and inspired by his own time in the British Military, the Invictus Games use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women and the families that play such an important supporting role. It is the only international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill active duty and veteran service members.
Sydney follows fellow host cities London (2014) and Orlando (2016), with Toronto to come in September 2017.
The Games emphasis will be on the serving personnel’s journey of rejuvenation as they travel down the road of recovery and rehabilitation. Our campaign aims to make the Australian 2018 Invictus Games the best to be held, by generating overwhelming support for the Games and the values they are founded upon, and to have a lasting effect on the veteran landscape in Australia.
Q. What can Sydney and Australia expect in 2018? Where will it be held? What sort of numbers are you expecting?
The fourth Invictus Games will be held 18-29 October 2018 with over 500 military competitors from 17 nations. With these 500 competitors will come over 1,000 supporting family and friends, so our city will come alive with all the visiting nations.
There will be 11 sports, and competition venues will include Olympic Park and Sydney Harbour.
The journey to the Invictus Games in 2018 will help to shine a light on those that suffer from a mental and/or physical disability and the families and volunteers that support them. It will provide an opportunity for the whole community to witness and be inspired by the everyday battle of those that strive to turn adversity into opportunity using sport as a vehicle for rehabilitation.
We will encourage the people of Sydney and NSW to welcome competitors from far and wide and the families that support them – to do some extraordinary things, as well as have a fantastic time here!
Q. Tell us about your Board and Ambassadors and a little bit about the management team you are seeking?
We have a diverse and accomplished Board who have been selected based on their experience and skills. Lieutenant General Peter Leahy AC is the Chair of Invictus Games Sydney 2018. Some of our Board members include; Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC; Lynne Anderson, CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee; Ticketek CEO Geoff Jones; Janine Kirk AM, CEO of the Prince’s Charities in Australia; and Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA in Australia.
We also have a team of high quality spokespeople who can represent the competitors, partners and Games, as well as engage their communities.
Current Ambassadors include:
- His Excellency General The Hon Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Ret’d);
- Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial;
- Sapper Curtis McGrath, Paralympic Gold Medallist and Australian Invictus Games competitor;
- Crissy Ashcroft, Afghanistan veteran and Australian Invictus Games competitor;
- Ian Thorpe OAM, five-time Olympic gold medallist;
- Stephen Moore, Wallabies captain and;
- James Spithill, two-time America’s Cup winning skipper.
We are really enthusiastic about building a team and culture who are passionate about the Invictus Games legacy and striving to make a positive impact in not only the veteran community but beyond.
We’d love people to get behind the Games – as a competitor, a volunteer, a spectator, a sponsor or an employee. It’s about embracing the community that has served.
SRi works extensively with major sports, media and entertainment clients across the region. We are currently advising the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 on a number of key hires for the Local Organising Committee, for details please visit the Invictus Games section on our website here.
To find out more about the Invictus Games in Sydney please go to www.invictusgames2018.org.