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  • 1.
    Cervin, Georgia
    et al.
    History Discipline, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia.
    Kerr, Roslyn
    Department of Tourism Sport and Society, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand.
    Barker-Ruchti, Natalie
    Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Schubring, Astrid
    Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Nunomura, Myrian
    School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
    Growing up and speaking out: female gymnasts’ rights in an ageing sport2017In: Annals of Leisure Research, ISSN 1174-5398, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 317-330Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research examines the experiences of ‘older’ elite gymnasts competing in Women's Artistic Gymnastics in Australia, through the framework of athlete rights. Using a qualitative approach interviews were conducted with elite or former elite gymnasts who were at least 20 years old during their active career, and coaches and judges who worked with such athletes. This paper focuses on three key themes that emerged from the data. First was the relationship with the maturing body, which, combined with new coach policies toward athlete health, lessened gymnasts' risk of abuse in the form of weight control. Second, the changing coach–athlete relationship prolonged careers, although gymnasts had to demand their rights as adults. Finally, financial support provided a basis for continued participation for some, while others were excluded through economic discrimination. Such research should guide coaches and federations towards best practice when working with (adult) athletes.

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