Soldier keen to take on new challenge
There's nothing like a challenge to keep you motivated, and for Corporal Jason Sturley, those challenges just keep coming.
Linton Military Camp-based Corporal Jason Sturley has been named as one of 400 competitors from 14 nations to participate in the Invictus Games, an international sporting competition for wounded, injured and sick services personnel in London in September.
Sturley had his leg amputated below the knee the after falling through some rotten floor boards while deployed in the Solomon Islands, badly injuring his leg in 2007.
Septicemia set in and almost two years later, it was the leg or his life.
His drive and determination to get back on his feet were among the reasons Sturley was named 2013's Defence Force Person of the year, having worked his way back up to a deployable status.
But he suffered a setback last year, when a fracture in his knee failed, requiring more of his leg to be removed in November.
Just a few months later, he was back swimming, his sport of choice, and working on his fitness in the hopes of getting back to deployable status and now, making a splash at the Invictus Games.
It will be the second time Sturley has competed in such an event, having last year attended the United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Paralympics in California.
This time, he knows what to expect - and how hard the competition will be, and he's been using that as his motivation to push himself through a few dark times he's had since more of his leg was removed.
"They train all day everyday . . . I know what I'm in for, it's either go prepared or get your arse kicked."
Sturley is able to take a support person, and his chosen his father David Sturley, to accompany him.
His father, too, was in the army, based at Linton, and like him, worked in the engineering workshop.
Sturley Senior was sent to New Zealand alone at age seven, and it was his first and perhaps, his only, opportunity for the pair to visit his father's homeland together, Sturley said.