3 Mar 2013

NZ soldiers compete in US military 'paralympics'

9:04 am on 3 March 2013

Three New Zealand soldiers injured and disabled on active service in Afganistan and Solomon Islands are competing in a military equivalent of the paralympics being held in the United States.

Staff Sergeant Nicholas Marfell, Sergeant Mark Soper and Corporal Jason Sturley have injuries that include total hearing loss and the amputation of a leg below the knee.

The US Marine Corps Trials involve more than 300 active, reserve and veteran Marines competing in seven sports, including wheelchair basketball, swimming and track and field.

The trials are hosted by the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, which has a reconditioning programme to help injured soldiers increase their strength. The event takes place from 1-6 March.