Athletic injury: The experiences of three male rugby players at university
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study explores the lives of three men who have experienced sporting injuries through playing rugby which have terminated their sporting career. This study illuminates the athletic and masculine identities which are constructed by participating in rugby and exemplifies the joint loss of these after injury occurs. The psychological impacts which accompany injury and the disruption of core identities are highlighted and emphasis is the made towards the necessity of psychological support to be provided by physiotherapists during rehabilitation. The study used an interview technique to gather the participant’s life stories and perceptions regarding their sporting history, the impacts of the injury and the perception of the social support that was provided. Post interview it was clear that participating in rugby from a young age formed strong athletic and masculine identities which were devastated following the injury. Additionally it was found that the physiotherapist’s body-only approach to injury recovery could have affected the athlete’s recovery to sport. Additionally, the data suggested that although forming new identities post injury was a difficult experience, alternate pathways to fulfil athletic and masculine roles are possible.
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