All athletes and coaches from the AIS have available to them two respite facilities; one at Basil Sellers Moruya and Basil Sellers Tweed, on the New South Wales north coast.
The Moruya facility and associated respite program was first started by Australian cricket chaplain Mark Tronson in 1992, and is now managed by Kim & Michelle Gillis. It has recently been totally refurbished with a generous donation of a further $50,000 by Mr Basil Sellers AM.
Basil Sellers himself comes from a sporting family. He is a former South Australian basketball representative and his brother Rex Sellers was a Test Cricketer spin bowler. He has been around high quality athletes all his life, and he recognises the value of respite.
When Mark and Delma Tronson relocated to The Tweed Heads in 2006, they replicated this respite facility with the opening of Basil Sellers Tweed. Their Well-Being Australia mission aims to improve the emotional and physical health of athletes and others associated with high-performance sports, their families, and retired personnel (such as cricketers) by involving them in the positive aspects of respite as part of their complete training program.
This facility is close to the AIS units in south-east Queensland. As well as hosting teams and coaches for individually designed programs at the Australian Surfing High Performance Centre, Well-Being Australia personnel visit the units at their home base and speak about the value of respite for the whole person.
Mark and Delma Tronson have a respite ministry itinerary that, in recent years, has taken them to visit the following Australian Institute of Sport Units – Cricket (men's and women's); Diving (men's and women's), Squash (men's and women's), Softball (women's) and Flatwater Canoe (men's and women's). They are all invited to use the facilities at either the Tweed or Moruya, and many take this opportunity to do so.
There is a parallel program from Moruya, for the AIS units based in Canberra.
Mark Tronson tries to spread the word about the value of respite during all his other engagements. For example, early in 2010, he will be discussing such programs with a visiting New Zealand Baptist minister who already has a sports ministry program in his church.
But back at Moruya last week, Well-Being Australia's Matt Boyes spoke to the AIS men's basketballers on the value of 'Communication' as a part of successful respite. Athletes, their families, and the coaches need to know when the other 'has had enough' and needs a break.
Respite, like a good physical training program, starts with good communication explained Matt Boyes.