Higher education experiences of elite student-para-athletes in the UK

Campbell, Natalie ORCID: 0000-0003-3859-6607 (2018) Higher education experiences of elite student-para-athletes in the UK. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 42 (6). pp. 1-15. doi:10.1080/0309877X.2017.1311997

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This article presents the narrative accounts of six elite student-para-athletes attending higher education full time in the UK. Whilst literature concerning the student-athlete population in the UK is growing, there is no research at present that brings to the fore the voices of student-athletes who represent their country in Paralympic sports. In addition, research concerning the experiences of higher education students with disabilities in the UK is heavily concerned with the experience of learning as opposed to the more nuanced experiences of ‘being’ a university student. Accounts concerning the lived experience of higher education were gathered via semi-structured interviews and analysed through a process of interpretative phenomenological analysis producing an intricate, intimate and personal theme for each participant. Analysed and presented as individual case studies, the research demonstrates the uniqueness of experience despite the existence of common and shared life environments. The accounts explore three life-worlds – university, elite sport and disability – and expose the difference in meaning-making by each participant to the identities of ‘athlete’, ‘student’ and ‘disabled’, specifically within the context of higher education. The accounts are presented as three themes that illuminate the contrast in experience: (1) university as a normative and positive experience; (2) university as a disappointing and hindering experience; and (3) university as an experience of personal salvation and purpose. Findings are mapped to the social-relational model of disability to better understand the relationship between individual perception, impairment and environment.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Higher education; Disability; Paralympic; University; IPA; Student-athlete; Experience; Elite; Sport; Social-relational; REF2021
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV0712 Athletic contests. Sports events
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2017 13:19
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:08
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/4788

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