Are elite Christian athletes affected by their own Christian beliefs when it comes to performing
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study explores whether elite Christian athletes are affected by their Christian beliefs when it comes to performing. The areas of focus included Sunday participation, praying, cheating, rituals, gamesmanship and witnessing/promoting the Christian faith to non-believers. Data was derived from interviews with eight elite athletes, 4 male and 4 female, who were all professing ChLristians in their third year of studies at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. The athletes reported that their faith did not hinder them in arry way;they believed that it only benefited them. This study has categorised each of the subjects into one ofthree types of sport Christians, based on their given answers. The typologies are derived from Stevensons 1991 categories; Detached, Impartial and Committed. Three subjects were categorised as Detached type of Christian athletes, one subject was found to be Impartial, and four subjects were categorised as Committed Christian performers. It was found that three ofthe eight subjects had different feelings and beließ on praying to wirl cheating and gamesmanship. What they believed to be acceptable within sport was seen to be unacceptable by four of the remaining subjects' However it was found that one of the eight subjects was rather impartial to both of these categories and thus fell into a separate category. Discussion of the findings explores the stages of maturity each of the athletes were at in their Christian faith, values, attitudes and behaviours. This aflected what was seen to be acceptable to them.
BSc (Hons) Sport, PE and Recreation
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