"I didn't even know if my life was worth fighting for": an exploration of the restorative power of adaptive sport for traumatically injured British military personnel

  • Sarah Green

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis examines the potentially restorative power of adaptive sport, based upon the experiences of traumatically injured British military personnel. It investigates how participation in adaptive sport may contribute to personnel’s adaptation of identity and the re-establishment of their meaning of life post-traumatic injury. Through a series of in-depth interviews, I attempted to gain a greater understanding of the experience of and recovery from life-changing injuries, seeking to comprehend the impact of adaptive sport in this process. In line with current research in the field of
    disability studies, this research adopted a social construction approach. The results of the analysis are set within the social model of disability in order to try to highlight the impacts of the perceptions of disability, embedded in the dominant medical model
    discourse, on the participant’s lives. Key findings highlighted by this research are i;the influence that the medical model discourse has on the British military mentality and their approach to injury, ii; the process of identity adaptation and the importance of adaptive-sport-participation to provide focus and help individuals realise their potential, iii; the experience of adaptive sport as a tool to bring back meaning of life and iv; the process of ‘normalisation’ and the way individuals are self-determined to restore some sense of normality by participating in adaptive sport and positive
    adaptation to trauma, whereby adaptive sport acts as a tool to set the right conditions for individuals to experience positive phenomena. Throughout this thesis, I have attempted to provide an open and reflexive account of the whole research process in order to make the reader aware of the possible effects of my own background on the research outcomes.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorIan Brittain (Supervisor) & Alan Hunter (Supervisor)

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