Through the Lens of a Camera Exploring the Meaning of Competitive Sport Participation Among Youth Athletes with Disabilities

Academic Article


  • This study explores the meaning of competitive sports participation among youth athletes with disabilities who are members of a sled hockey team affiliated with a community-based Therapeutic Recreation (TR) and adaptive sports organization. The study draws upon theories of Social Role Valorization and Perceived Freedom in Leisure, and employs the Socio-Ecological Model to: (a) examine the role of adaptive sports programs as bridging organizations, mediating the space between individual capacities, collective identities, and valued social roles for youth with disabilities; and (b) identify barriers and enablers of participation. Photovoice was employed utilizing the template analytic method. Findings suggest that competitive sports participation: (1) facilitates identification with valued social roles; (2) supports outcomes associated with Perceived Freedom in Leisure; and (3) empowers youth with disabilities to discuss barriers and enablers to social inclusion. This study highlights the role of Photovoice as a tool for informing TR and adaptive sport practice, and facilitating transdisciplinary partnerships that work towards developing more inclusive sports opportunities for youth with disabilities.
  • Authors

  • Aytur, Semra
  • Craig, Patricia
  • Frye, Matthew
  • Bonica, Mark
  • Rainer, Sara
  • Hapke, Laura
  • McGilvray, Matt
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2018
  • Published In


  • Adaptive sports
  • Photovoice
  • Socio-Ecological model
  • participatory action research
  • social role valorization
  • youth athletes with disabilities
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 95
  • End Page

  • 125
  • Volume

  • 52
  • Issue

  • 2