'Becoming' a disabled athlete

Howells, K. (2017) 'Becoming' a disabled athlete. In: AIESEP (International Association of Colleges of Physical Education) International Conference. Cultures, Disciples, Interactions: Contextualising Diversity in Physical Activities and Physical Education., November 2017., Guadeloupe,. (Unpublished)

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This paper will examine an athlete’s identity within Physical Activity and Sport changed after a life changing accident, and how she moved from being an able bodied athlete to being and coping as a disabled athlete. The paper is a case study of an athlete ‘K’ and their struggle to overtake inequalities to allow them to compete at international level within their new identity. The paper explores 5 years and takes an indepth narrative approach to investigate the impact of learner identify, self-esteem as the athlete re-learnt and adapted skills within their chosen sport of cycling.

Symes (2010) made us think about the question “Who am I?” within her discussion on athletic identity. She acknowledges that there are two sides to athletic identify, one of private and one of public and this is the focus of this paper. For K there was much conflict and change in understanding the, who am I, post accident. ‘K’ would originally have identified themselves in athletic terms (Brewer, Van Raalte and Linder, 1993) as a light weight rower / sculler, having rowed throughout University being awarded a University blue for outstanding contribution to rowing. The narrative examines the new ‘Who’ and the challenges that came in learning how to overcome and overtake inequity of the new para-sport world that ‘K’ found herself and the journey she found herself on to change some of the injustice and unfairness within this world.

The aim of the research analysis was to inform future practice on understanding the impact of learner identity especially labelled as disabled and competing in para-sports. As well as offering a unique narrative on how a learner’s identity can change. The paper will present how through the use of physical activity and sport, self-confidence can be rebuilt and identity redefined in a positive way.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0712 Athletic contests. Sports events
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV1040 Cycling, Bicycling, Motorcycling
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0558 Sports science
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1025 Teaching (Principles and practice)
Divisions: Faculty of Education > School of Childhood and Education Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Kristy Howells
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2018 12:17
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 12:11
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17198

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00