Creating a Sense of Togetherness: Enhancing Resilience and Leadership within the Military and Sport

  • 21 June 2023
  • 5:30 - 6:30 pm
  • Online

In this talk, SSEHS academics Dr Barker and Dr White will discuss their work within the fields of the military and sport using interventions to enhance leadership, resilience, and performance.

This public lecture will be delivered by Dr Jamie Barker, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology, and Dr Craig White, Economic and Social Research Council Fellow, in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, on Wednesday 21st June at 5:30pm.

Barker and White will explore the concepts of resilience and social identity leadership. They will look at how interventions based around these themes have been utilised to promote a sense of togetherness within military and sporting teams, as well as to enhance the mental wellbeing of veterans.

Dr White shares his personal experiences of serving in Afghanistan and leading a multinational team working with the Afghan National Police, and why his research has proven success in it's application. This includes a discussion on his collaborative work with Dr Barker to deliver a resilience intervention with several RAF teams, including a combat air squadron, based around social identity theorising to increase feelings of connectedness within the team. Dr Barker will also present the outcomes of similar interventions in elite and professional sport.

Dr Barker and Dr White will then discuss their latest work in the design and delivery of a Veterans’ Resilience Programme aimed at enhancing the resilience and mental wellbeing of military veterans suffering from mental wellbeing issues. The course included adaptive physical activities (for example, wheelchair basketball) as well as workshops on social and psychological resilience, sleep, and healthy eating. The impact of the course has been highly significant in improving mental wellbeing over time, with some of the veterans describing it to be either “life saving” or “life changing”.

The lecture will conclude with Dr Barker and Dr White’s reflections on how others can best enhance leadership and resilience in the military and sporting contexts.

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