Promoting Para Athlete Activism: Critical Insights From Key Stakeholders in Ireland

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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In 2019, the International Paralympic Committee produced a new strategy that highlighted the need to promote disability activism through Para sport. The purpose of this study is to understand what promoting disability activism through Para sport means to key stakeholders within an Irish national-level sociopolitical and Para sport context. Three groups of Irish stakeholders participated in interviews. Data were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis. Three themes were generated: social responsibility, identity performance, and Paralympic discourse. Within each theme, different stakeholders drew on different activist discourses to argue for and against promoting activism. This article poses significant challenges to the International Paralympic Committee’s strategy. Challenges are addressed by highlighting nine activist discourses that could have practical implications when promoting activism in different sociopolitical and Para sport contexts.

The authors are with the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom.

Address author correspondence to Damian Haslett at damian.haslett@durham.ac.uk.
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