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Title: Wheeling to London 2012 : the psycho-social health and well-being of Great Britain's Wheelchair Basketball players over time
Author: Best, Melanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 7201
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2016
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The purpose of this PhD was to explore the psycho-social health (PSH) and well-being (WB) of Great Britain's (GB) Wheelchair Basketball (WhB) players over time, starting from when they became disabled and culminating in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The sample comprised 16 players (8 male, 8 female) and 4 coaches. They were interviewed on three occasions - 2 years before, within a year of and a year after London. Observations spanned this period, whilst data was also collected via two visual methods: auto-photography (AP) and timelining. All data was analysed using a thematic analytical approach. First the challenges to PSH and WB of being disabled are discussed, with the diversity of experience highlighted. Secondly in exploring the role of spinal units and story-tellers in initiating players into sport, a lottery which risked their PSH and WB is exposed. Whilst copious benefits of recreational disability sport are described, being a GB WhB player is revealed as an extreme health rollercoaster. Just as being a Paralympian offers perks and privileges, so too does it risk players becoming obsessed. Performance and health are shown to be uniquely related and yet not always simultaneously achievable. Finally, from the pride of wearing the jersey and competing at a home Paralympics, to shattered dreams and unfulfilled ambitions, London 2012 is relived. The research concludes that creating a 'Healthy Paralympian' is a challenging task and yet winning formula. Recommendations are made to realise this aim, whilst those which have already been adopted by GB WhB are also shared.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Wheelchair basketball ; Health ; Psycho-social health ; Well-being ; Disability ; Disability sport ; Wheelchair sport ; Paralympian ; London 2012