This article draws on material associated with a solo sailing circumnavigation, undertaken by 16 year old Jessica Watson in 2009–2010, to discuss how her voyage provided a focal point for debates relating to voluntary risk-taking conducted within the sport and leisure context. Specifically, we illustrate how public and media commentaries on her voyage reflect discourses of risk being infused and conflated with discourses of responsibility, youth and gender. Our analysis brings to the fore the contested, moral and political nature of risk discourses in contemporary western society. Public reaction to Watson’s voyage indicates that descriptions of western society as risk-averse fail to capture the situated and dynamic perceptions of risk.
Mike Brown and Dawn Penney
Andrew Hammond, Ruth Jeanes, Dawn Penney and Deana Leahy
In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight Victorian swimming coaches to examine the discourses of disability1 and inclusion that they expressed in relation to their current coaching practices. Analysis specifically pursued links between neoliberalism, ableism, elitism, classification and inclusion in coaching, with the intention of exploring what discourse relations are possible, imaginable and practical within what have been referred to as neoliberal-ableist times. Findings reveal that coaches replicate and reproduce elitist, ableist assumptions about the body and sport. The discussion prompts a consideration of how rationalities and techniques of inclusion are limited under the prevailing political context.