Play / pause Back Into Sport

Back Into Sport

  • Rachel Williamson
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


During my resettlement, I did a battle back course,

and it's basically to show it's, can be

for serving people who are either still serving,

who know they're in a resettlement phase and about to leave

and that was just a sports adaptation week.

You learn how to socialize again.

You learn how to do sports in different ways.

On that course, I actually met a friend

and they told me the Invictus Games.

Put my interest in, I learned about all the sports,

I learned that actually I do still enjoy 'em

even though I have all these memories from them all

and that worked out perfectly for me.

I was lucky enough to be selected this year

at the Invictus Games in Sydney.

I did swimming and indoor rowing.

Swimming probably was the biggest challenge for me.

I still had those memories of being 16, 17 again,

come off trial finals

and yes, I didn't wanna let myself down again.

Didn't wanna miss out by that one second.

The fact my parents were there,

they've never seen me swim one-armed before

'cause I never let 'em.

I did not want to show them, this is the one-armed girl

that goes 'round in circles.

My parents do remember me bein' this fit little kid

and stormin' up and down the pool

with all the energy in the world

to now, tryin' to break a barrier

and swim with a non-dominant arm that I wasn't use to.

It kinda has helped 'cause I've built up strength

in the side for I've had to learn to adapt in general life.

It's all buildin' blocks on each area, really,

sort of in the job and within sports itself.

I did need it.

I needed them to see me to do it in a different way

even though I didn't at the same time.

I was scared to cross that boundary

but it had to be done.

I had to go for it.

Even after all the races, I've never cried so much

in my life.

I doubt if I'll cry again for two years

'cause I just didn't believe that I could do it.

The fact that I did it and in front of my parents

who always see me as that person that,

they knew me, they knew (mumbles)

I could actually do it.

But it was more, believe in myself was the biggest hurdle.

  • Rachel Williamson

    © RAF Museum

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