Like most of us, 2021 is heralding a new phase. For me in my research it is time to start collecting my data. During 2020 I used the time during lockdown to focus on my studies. Reading copious amounts of research on disability and seeking out specific work on disability sport helped frame my work and focus my efforts. I realised more than ever the need for my research to not only give a voice to disabled young people, but also help guide the future.
Towards the end of last year I put out a call for research participants and received fewer responses than anticipated. I know there are more disabled young people out there participating in sport and active recreation, but how do I find them? After circulating my research to over 110 organisations seeking assistance to get my message out, I did receive nominations for participants. Sadly, not as many as I had hoped but sufficient for me to continue with my research.
Not totally disheartened, I was however pleasantly surprised by how active and involved those young people who did respond are in sport and active recreation. Many participate in a range of activities, some sports oriented across a number of different codes, some sport and active recreation.
Now the summer holidays are behind us and everyone is back into work/school mode (me included!), I plan to spend the next few months getting to know more about these young peoples experiences in sport and active recreation. I am fortunate to work in disability sport so I get to see the value sport and active recreation contributes to peoples lives, especially those who believe or have been told sport isn’t for them. I am now in the privileged position to be able to document some of these experiences and find out how these successes can be shared by others.
Many are predicting 2021 is going a year with few journeys, especially offshore. For me, I think 2021 will be a journey of discovery, challenging not only my own experiences and perceptions but also creating a opportunity for which the outcome may not be as expected.
I am still seeking more research participants, so if you know of any disabled young people who are involved in sport and active recreation who maybe interested in joining this journey of discovery on disability sport, please nomination here.