In 2011 RSL volunteers came together to start an adaptive sport program. They understood the importance of sport and activity to veterans’ self-esteem and physical and mental health. As veterans, they felt the benefits themselves and saw the spark in other participants.
In 2013 the program was renamed RSL Active and through regular and one-off sporting activities, it encouraged wounded and ill veterans to stay healthy through sport and connect socially with others. In the beginning, the activities were primarily in NSW.
In early 2018, the work and passion of the original volunteers - Darren McManus-Smith, Brad Copelin, Scott Seccombe and Stewart Sherman - was recognised when RSL WBI employed its first professional sport coordinator.
Encouraged by Invictus Games Sydney 2018, the program relaunched nationally on 26 October 2018 as Veteran Sport Australia.
Veteran Sport Australia’s goal is to connect more veterans to a variety of sport, support attendance at camps, and competitive events and games. It provides financial assistance to veterans unable to afford the equipment, fees and other costs of participating.
The program also supports veterans wanting to mentor or coach other veterans. Financial assistance for eligible veterans to undertake training is available.