Article | Open Access
Experiences and Perceptions of Young Adults with Physical Disabilities on Sports
Abstract: People with disabilities seldom get a chance to voice their opinions on their sport experiences. A deeper understanding of the context-related experiences of sport is a prerequisite for teachers and leaders to be able to provide adequate, inclusive and meaningful activities. The aim of this qualitative case study was to examine how young people with disabilities made sense of sport, within both the compulsory school system and the voluntary sports movement. The study involved 10 young adults (aged 16 to 29 years) with disabilities, five males and five females. All the participants had rich experiences of sport. An inductive approach to qualitative content analysis of semi-structured interviews was used to enable individuals to explain and give meaning to their experiences of sport including those pertaining to gender and inclusion. The findings illustrated that dominating gender and ability norms influenced the interviewees’ understanding of themselves in relation to sport; as a consequence, some of the female interviewees had a more diverse, sometimes contradictory experience of sport than the male interviewees. The basic premise of this study is that researchers can develop more insightful understandings of inclusion by studying the subjective meanings that are constructed by people with disabilities in their sport experiences.
Keywords: diversity; physical education and health; social inclusion; sporting bodies
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