Transitions out of high performance sports in athletes with disabilities

Dear Sir / Madam,

My name is Adriana and I’m a student of the International Master’s programme in Adapted Physical Activity (IMAPA) which is in partnership between the KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium), the University of Olomouc (UP, Czech Republic), and a number of associate partners across Europe. The director of the programme at the KU Leuven is Prof. Yves Vanlandewijck, and the responsible during the studying period at the Palacký University in Olomouc is Prof. Martin Kudlacek. At this moment I’m on the second year of the programme and at the end of this academic year I will have to defend my Master’s Thesis.

After conducting a literature review, it was found that there is a lack of knowledge in the field of
transitions out of high performance sports in athletes with disabilities. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to increase the knowledge in this field by providing more insight about the current situation of transitions out of elite sports, and to identify how many athletes might be at risk of suffering psychological distress during it. It will be focused mainly on athletic identity and self-esteem, where a group of retired athletes will be compared to a group of active athletes. Additionally, depression and perceived stress levels will be assessed.

Moreover, due to the continuous increases on participation at the Paralympic Games (e.g. from
4,237 athletes in London 2012 to 4,333 in Rio de Janeiro 2016) there might be a moment when a
large number of athletes will retire at the same time. Therefore, the results from this study can be
valuable for Sport Organizations, Institutions and sport psychologist to be better equipped, in order to give an appropriate support for the athletes with disabilities who can be at risk of developing emotional adjustment problems.

At this moment I’m trying to contact possible participants that are willing to voluntarily participate in this study. Therefore, I was wondering if you could help me to find potential participants by letting them know about this research. I’m looking for high performance athletes, both active and retired athletes, either male and female, that have participated at the Paralympic Games, with any kind of physical or visual impairments.

Participation in this study will just require to answer an electronic survey, where different
questionnaires are gathered (demographic questions, Athletic Identity Measurement Scale,
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Beck Depression Inventory and Perceived Stress Scale), and to send
a signed informed consent for participation (which is provided inside of the survey).

This is the link of the survey in English:

And this is the link of the informed consent:

I will be very pleased if you could help me to recruit participants for my research.

I’m also attaching a letter (PDF) where I present the study.

Thank you very much in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Adriana Marin Urquiza