Disability, inclusive adventurous training and adapted sport: Two soldiers' stories of involvement


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Abstract

Objectives:To generate insights into the personal meaning and value of an inclusive adventurous training and adapted sport course for military personnel who have experienced physical disability as a result of injuries sustained during active service.Design:Narrative storytelling approach based on collaboratively written creative nonfictions.Method:First-person stories were constructed with two male soldiers on the basis of informal interviews and conversations across five days of a residential adventure training and sport course.Results:The stories portray the personal benefits, meaning, and value of adventurous training and sport by illuminating each individual's experiences since injury/trauma, his experiences while on the course, and how these interact to shape psychological wellbeing and future life horizons. They reveal a complex interplay between physical, psychological, and social disability among some military personnel.Conclusions:The story as analysis expands current understanding of the psychological effects of physical activity for injured military personnel through: (i) providing an alternative analytical approach; (ii) revealing subjectivities, personal meaning, and biographical connections to generate a holistic understanding of the individual; (iii) preserving the complexity and ambiguity that characterize lived experience to support plural understandings; (iv) sharing an embodied representation as an ethical act of witnessing another's life. We suggest these kinds of understandings are necessary for physical activity practitioners who wish to support military personnel who have sustained a disability.

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