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Introduction

So, you didn’t get invited to Invictus

So, you didn’t get invited to Invictus

Sometimes things don't always go to plan. Sometimes, you give it your all and things just don't work out the way you wanted.

Brian Heilbronn was the powerlifting coach for Team Australia at Invictus Games 2017 and 2018. He's a lecturer in Sports Science and Exercise Physiology at James Cook University.

He shared some thoughts on managing the disappointment of missing out on Invictus Games selection.

These words were originally written and published by Brian on his personal profile page. We've reproduced them here with his kind permission - because it's too good not to share!


I've heard (unofficially) that Invictus 2020 selection emails have started to go out. To the athletes that have been invited to the trials, congratulations! Regardless of how your journey goes, I guarantee it will be life changing.

To those that did not get invited, here are some thoughts:

1) For IG18, we had around 200-250 applications for a team of 80ish. However, my understanding is that the IG20 team will consist of around 30 athletes. After the success of the Sydney games and the heightened awareness it brought to the Games, there was no doubt 100's more applications for 2020. So, if there are 300+ applicants for 2020, less than 10% will be selected. It sucks, but it is what it is.

It sucks, but it is what it is.

2) Behind every letter that is sent out, is a person who (as part of a team) has had review every application and make a bloody tough decision on who progresses through to the next phase. They are doing the best they can, with the information they have. While I am sure if they could, they would take everyone, but it's just not possible. It's not personal and it's a hard and unforgiving job, so don't be quick to judge them. Ask yourself if you would want to do it, seriously, before you attack them. God knows I wouldn't want to do it.

Behind every letter that is sent out, is a person who (as part of a team) has had review every application and make a bloody tough decision

3) If your first response is to get angry and lash out at others for not making it,  you should probably reconsider why you applied in the first place. If you think you deserve to be in that team more than someone else, you don't deserve to be there at all. You don't know every applicant, their story or their reasons for applying. Who are you to judge? Selections are an emotional time and a degree of disappointment is understandable. Blasting people on Facebook because you didn't get what you wanted is unacceptable, and will likely ruin any chance you have of being involved with the adaptive sports program in the future.

Selections are an emotional time and a degree of disappointment is understandable.

4) There are other opportunities! Invictus should be the bright shiny light at the end of your journey, not the first step! Veteran Sport Australia, Sporting Wheelies and a plethora of other organisations are out there for you to get involved in. Find a sports program and get involved at your local level.

Find a sports program and get involved at your local level.

VSA is happy to help find opportunities in your local area, contact us to find out more.

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