The benefits of sport

Australia has a rich sporting culture and chances are you’ve grown up playing sport. Sport can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the veteran community, including during recovery and rehabilitation. It can also help veterans with their transition to civilian life as many of the qualities they have picked up while serving, such as teamwork and leadership, are qualities at the core of most sports.

This is why Veteran Sport Australia is promoting the benefits of sport, and developing some great resources along the way.

Most recently, with the help of $59,000 in DVA funding from the Supporting Younger Veterans Grants program, it has worked with RSL NSW and Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling on the delivery of an online toolkit to encourage veterans' involvement in sport and to showcase the benefits of sport.

This toolkit consists of four video modules that provide examples of how sport is being used by the veteran community to assist with reintegration and rehabilitation. The topics include the physical, social and emotional benefits of sport, the healing power of adaptive sports, the Invictus Games legacy for ongoing recovery, and the benefits of volunteering in sport.

‘These videos provide examples of where we are channelling our efforts — both with the Invictus program and, importantly, with sustainable, grassroots sporting opportunities around Australia,’ says CEO of Veteran Sport Australia, Michael Hartung. ‘Our hope is that these resources will inspire veterans and their families to seek relevant activities and understand the power of sport in all its guises. We extend our gratitude to DVA for funding this project.’

‘It gives you something to focus on,’ says veteran Scott Reynolds, who volunteers in sailing. ‘It [provides the] opportunity to help me to redefine my boundaries and my capacity, whilst giving back.’

Visit Veteran Sport Australia’s Physical, social and emotional benefits of sports for veterans webpage to check out their toolkit, with some further real life examples from veterans who have seen the physical, social and emotional benefits of sport.

There are also some great resources and helpful tips on the Open Arms website about the benefits of exercise.

You might also like Veterans’ Health Week 2021.
Four men, a woman and a dog posing with yachts in background.

Veteran and Invictus Games competitor Scott Reynolds (2nd from right) finds his role as a sailing instructor with Saltwater Veterans important for his ongoing health and wellbeing. Pictured here at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Sydney.