SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre launches new Resilience in Sport program

22 May 2017
SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre launches  new Resilience in Sport program

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute’s (SAHMRI) Wellbeing and Resilience Centre is thrilled to announce the launch of a new program targeted at community football leagues and secondary schools.

‘Resilience in Sport’, being headed up by former Adelaide Crow, Brent Reilly who joined the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre two years ago, is a program that will offer help, support and direction, for not only aspiring young, but also established athletes.

It will focus on four main areas – injury, performance, expectations and relationships.

PERMA+ - preparing individuals and teams to face challenges

The evidence-based skills that Brent delivers, PERMA+, provides individuals and teams with a common language and a toolbox of ‘go to’ pathways that can be utilised to help better deal with challenges and adversity. People undergoing the training will learn gratitude, mindfulness, listening and communication skills, and also how to set personal goals that align with their own values and strengths.

The PERMA+ training currently being delivered by Brent through the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, is the educational tool that can be incorporated into life skill management. It will help prepare participants for the challenges of sport and it can be seen as a duty of care now, and for the future growth and prospects of all players.

From elite footballer to Resilience Trainer

After 203 AFL games, Brent’s career was cut short following a training accident, which left him with a fractured skull and no other prospect than an early retirement.

The experience of relocating from home at just 18 years of age, and the rigours of life as an elite sportsperson, handling injury, constant performance pressure and the expectations of family, teammates, coaches and the media, had well equipped Brent for success on the field.

However, the huge challenge of his forced transition required an even greater effort.

Brent has brought his wealth of experience as an elite AFL player and honed his skills as a Resilience Trainer, drawing upon the life learnt lessons of his sporting career and the incredible journey, overcoming the effects of his serious head injury.

Brent said that learning about the research behind resilience helped with his transition from an elite athlete into the real world.

"During my career, I had highs and lows, but I have no doubt that knowing these skills would have helped me bounce back from these adversities,” Brent said.

Gabrielle Kelly Director, Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, SAHMRI said that elite sportsmen and women work so hard to get to the top of the tree and they play an important role in our society.

"To see them crushed by the transition into everyday life is tragic: this is a predictable health risk and we owe it to them to come up with some systematic solutions to help them back into a healthy life journey. Work, age-related or baby-related transitions,” Gabrielle said.

To learn more about this work and the positive outcomes being achieved by Brent through ‘Wellbeing in Sport’ at SAHMRI, please visit