Determining International Parasport Success Factors for UK Para-Athletics

PEAKE, Rebecca Louise (2019). Determining International Parasport Success Factors for UK Para-Athletics. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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    Parasport is attracting increased attention, with many nations adopting a systematic approach to the pursuit of international sporting success. The acceptance of an approach developed in a non-disabled context assumes that the determinants of success are concomitant for parasport and non-disabled sport alike. Policy development in this area is currently underdeveloped and a significant knowledge gap is evident. This knowledge gap provides the rationale for this study based on three principal factors: A lack of studies examining international parasport success factors; a lack of studies examining international sporting success factors in sport-specific contexts and; an absence of studies that address both dimensions. This study aims to address this gap in the literature by determining international parasport success factors for UK para-athletics. The study undertakes a critical realist approach, using a mixed methods research design. A four-phase sequential design was adopted which included both quantitative surveys completed by para-athletes and their coaches and qualitative semi-structured interviews, with athletes, coaches and UK Athletics staff. The results of this study suggest that the determinants of success identified for para-athletics include the factors identified in previous non-disabled studies but that there are additional variable factors for consideration. The relevant variable factors identified by this study are grouped as the nature of impairment (acquired or congenital); the level of support and care needs; and the level of equipment needs. This study provides a model illustrating the influences of these variables on the determinants of success, which may be of value for the development of para-athletics policies and the design of parasport support structures in the future. Consideration of the DIPAS model can enable improved structures and enhanced support of para-athletes, consequently improving success rates and ensuring appropriate spend of public money. It is recommended that the research approach is repeated in nations that perform comparably in para-athletics. Further research within athletics is advised to explore variance across event disciplines and ensure appropriate allocation of resources.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr Larissa Davies
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2019 11:44
    Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:41

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