Trudi Lines will play for the Australian Invictus team at the 2018 GIO National Wheelchair rugby championships.
Lines, a former RAAF servicewoman decorated with an Australia Day medallion for her services with Air Movements in the RAAF’s operations management team credits joining the Invictus Games wheelchair rugby team as fulfilling her life with purpose after she discharged from the RAAF in 2017.
“I was struggling to find a purpose after I left the ADF and needed to find something to a sense of purpose.
“I thought being around other former serving and current serving members would do it.
“It’s certainly been comforting to feel like you're back at home with people with military background.
“It’s helped with my rehab and given me back that drive to be fit and get out and have a go at other things”, she said.
Lines worked on various peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Thailand and Timor Leste and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008.
In 2011 she became the first woman to be trained as an electrician in the military after she transferred from operations management.
Lines will now become the first woman to play for the Invictus wheelchair rugby team and she’s excited to be back in the fold with current and former military personnel.
“To be out on the court with the guys I've been training with, to see their faces and to feel that excitement when we win.
“It will be so very rewarding. An unforgettable moment.
“I'll again feel proud to have served in the military”, she said.
Lines grandfather, the person she admires the most and a WWII pilot who marched beside her in the Anzac Day march in a new Mustang car with their medals on in Victoria in 2014 would be so proud of her and what she’s achieved.
“It was a special day that I'll never forget.
“He even had a beer with me.
“He had a great spirit, right to end (2015) and was as tough as nails, never complaining about anything”, she said.
The four team national championship will also include state teams from NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
The NSW Gladiators will be favourites to take out the title, having won back-to-back national championships in 2016-17, but according to James Selby, Rugby Australia's General Manager of community rugby said the addition of the Invictus team will add to the excitement and atmosphere of the tournament.
‘’There are great rivalries between the state teams and having the addition of the Invictus Games team will create an electric atmosphere, so I encourage people to get behind these teams and show our support", he said.
Lines will be joined by another woman at these championships in Victoria Thunder’s Shae Graham, who currently sit third in the national rankings.
The tournament will be held at Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre and entry is free. All games will be streamed live on www.wheelchairrugby.com.au
13. Peter Arcbuckle 10. Mathew Blunt 12. David Bretherton 3. Matthew Brumby 15. David Connolly 5. Mark Daniels 6. Braedon Griffiths 1. Trudi Lines 4. Peter Rudland 11. Jamie Tanner 8. Jeff Wright
GIO NSW Gladiators
15. Harry Clist 4. Ryley Batt 14. Andrew Edmondson 11. Simon Bartlett 8. Jake Field 6. Richard Voris 7. Chad Graham 9. Daniel Holt 14. Mark Leslie
Suncorp Queensland Cyclones
5. Chris Bond 2. Ben Newtown 15. Cameron Whittaker 10. Josh Nicholson 5. Matthew Thompson 14. Paul Robinson 6. Michael Ozanne
Victoria Protect Thunder
4. Jayden Warn 9. Andrew Harrison 1. Shae Graham 6. Antonio Vecchio 5. Kadir Faki 7. Jason Lees 8. Ben Fawcett
Friday October 5
10:00 – Opening Ceremony
11:00 - Invictus v GIO NSW Gladiators
13:00 – Victoria Protect Thunder v Suncorp Queensland Cyclones
15:00 – Invictus v Victoria Protect Thunder
17:00 - GIO NSW Gladiators v Suncorp Queensland Cyclones
Saturday October 6
10:00 - Suncorp Queensland Cyclones v Invictus
12:00 - GIO NSW Gladiators v Victoria Protect Thunder
15:00 – Semi Final 1 (1st v 4th)
17:00 – Semi Final 2 (2nd v 3rd)
Sunday October 7
10:00 – Bronze Medal Match
12:00 – Gold Medal Match
13:45 – Medal Presentation