Research pertaining to the experiences and motives of Paralympic athletes who transfer between sports is scant. This study aimed to address this gap through semistructured interviews with Canadian Paralympic coaches (n = 35) and athletes (n = 12). Three higher-order themes of “alternative to retirement,” “career extension,” and “compatibility” were identified. The subthemes of “psychobehavioral” and “physical and physiological” (from the higher-order theme of alternative to retirement) captured reasons leading to transfer, which are similar to reasons athletes may consider retirement. The subthemes of career extension—“better opportunities” and “beneficial outcomes”—shed light on factors that contributed to the withdrawal of negative experiences and reinforcement of positive outcomes associated with transferring sports. Last, compatibility had three subthemes of “resources,” “sport-specific,” and “communication,” which encapsulated factors athletes should consider prior to their transfer. In conclusion, the participants highlighted the importance of transparent and effective communication between athletes and sports to align and establish realistic expectations for everyone involved.
Coach and Athlete Perspectives on Talent Transfer in Paralympic Sport
Nima Dehghansai, Alia Mazhar, and Joseph Baker
What Do We Know About the Value of Sport for Older Adults? A Scoping Review
Shruti Patelia, Alia Mazhar, and Joseph Baker
Issues relating to older adults in sport are ongoing topics of interest among sport scientists; however, our knowledge on how older athletes have been studied is incomplete, which has implications for understanding the comprehensiveness of this evidence base. This scoping review aimed to provide an overview of how sport and older adults have been studied since the first World Masters Games. Data on research topics, research methods, sport-specific information, and demographic information on older athletes were collected and reviewed. Results suggest older athletes who are White, male, and competitive athletes have largely been the focus of research. In addition, results highlight an alarming number of unreported data related to the demographics of athlete samples. As a result, the well-documented benefits of sport may reflect a homogenous group of older adults, limiting our overall understanding of aging and sport and the value of this research for developing evidence-informed policy.
The Emergence of the Pandemic: High-Performance Coach and Athlete Experiences
Nima Dehghansai, Alia Mazhar, Ross Pinder, Joseph Baker, and Ian Renshaw
The current study explored coach and athlete reactions and challenges leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with a specific focus on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Games’ postponement. Nine Australian Paralympic coaches (n = 3) and athletes (n = 6) shared their experiences in semistructured interviews. The thematic analysis highlighted how participants experienced the emergence of the pandemic in different ways, but all were relieved when the late but eventual decision to postpone the Games was made. Regarding lockdown periods (i.e., social-distancing restrictions), some coaches and athletes thrived under the new reality (i.e., training from home, online coaching) while others had more difficulty adjusting. Furthermore, results highlight the many uncertainties still remaining, which continue to influence participants’ sport and personal lives. The experiences of coaches and athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic sheds light on strategies and resources that could support Paralympic coaches and athletes during current and future crises.