Operation Invictus Quilts

Story and photos by Bev Jordan

In a flurry of bright colours Jan-maree Ball and her Aussie Hero Quilt team have been carefully folding and wrapping 75 custom made quilts and laundry bags for the Australian Team competing in the Invictus Games.

Each one of the beautiful hand-made quilts and laundry bag bears the initials of the athlete it’s destined for and symbols meaningful to them.

It has taken months and about 70 quilters from all over Australia to produce the lovingly made quilts that are now part of the Australian team kit.

They were presented to the athletes on Thursday after being delivered by Aussie Hero Quilts founder Jan-maree Ball from her West Pennant Hills home.

As well as the custom-made quilts and bags for the athletes another 57 quilts have been made for the support team including managers, coaches and physios.

Mrs Ball, a veteran herself, said quilters had looked up the team profiles to see what to include in the quilt including service emblems, the athlete’s sports and interests.

Ben Farinazzo’s quilt features powerlifting and rowing images, his army insignia and his family (pictured) while Aussie Hero Quilt founder Jan-maree designed and made his laundry bag, his colourful quilt was made by Christine Crofton who travelled from country Victoria to be at Thursday’s presentation.Bev Uys, from Castle Hill, made a quilt for Matthew Blunt, a wheelchair rugby and archery competitor.

“ I loved doing it,” “It’s so creative,” she said.

Bridget Robertson from Cherrybrook created a quilt and laundry bag for Nicole Bradley, Australian co-captain who does power lifting athletics.

“I wanted to do something extra special.”

Jan-maree Ball started Auussie Hero Quilts six years ago to provide Australian troops serving overseas with a personally made quilt from home.

The Invictus Games will run from October 20 to October 27 and involved more than 500 athletes from 18 nations competing in 11 sports. For information on athletes, events and tickets visit https://www.invictusgames2018.org

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