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The inclusion of able-bodied athletes within disability sport, a phenomenon known as reverse integration, has sparked significant debate within adapted physical activity. Although researchers and practitioners have taken up positions for or against reverse integration, there is a lack of supporting research on the experiences of athletes who already play in such settings. In this study, we explore how competitive female athletes who have a disability experience reverse integration in Canadian wheelchair basketball. Athletic identity was used as the initial conceptual framework to guide semistructured interviews with nine participants. The results suggest that participation in this context contributed to positive athletic identities. Interviews also pointed to the unexpected theme of “what’s the difference?” that this sporting context provided a space for the questioning and creative negotiation of the categories of disability and able-bodiedness. Methodologically, this paper also explores the possibilities and challenges of inter- worldview and insider-outsider research collaboration.
Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere and Danielle Peers are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at University of Alberta.