The Classification Experiences of Paraswimmers

  • Author / Creator
    Van Dornick, Kirsti, L
  • The purpose of this project was to examine the classification experiences of paraswimmers. Understanding paraswimmers’ classification experiences added to the literature, exploring issues related to the functional classification system with a goal to influence classifier training. This research study was guided by an interpretive description (ID) approach, with the intent to shift the current understanding of paraswimming classification through new insights (Thorne, 2016). Purposeful theoretical sampling was used to recruit nine paraswimmers who ranged in swimming experience and assigned sport class. The primary source of data collection was semi-structured interviews. Data were also collected through document analysis, providing background and context for the classification system (Bowen, 2009). The interviews were first analyzed inductively in order to discover patterns and themes in the data and then deductively analyzed through Nordenfelt’s (2004) dignity framework (Patton, 2002). The findings were captured in three themes drawn from participant descriptions: Access, Diversity, and (Un)certainty. Based on the findings, it was evident that paraswimmers recognized the opportunities available to them through their assigned classification. However, it was also apparent that paraswimmers felt that inconsistencies in the classification process negatively affected the fairness of parasport competition. These findings suggest that continued efforts to improve the validity of the classification system are required. In addition, paraswimmers and their supports (e.g., coaches) require more information about the classification process to better understand the outcomes and to more effectively advocate for their needs.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.