An Assessment of Athletic Identity in Blind and Able-Bodied Tandem Cyclists
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine the athletic identity (AI) of blind and able-bodied tandem cyclists and explore its relationship to selected variables. An additional objective of this study was to analyze the reliability of the seven-item Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS) for tandem cyclists. Methods. The participants (N = 50) completed measures of AI, variables characterizing their loss of vision (degree and time of loss) and variables characterizing their sports level (the number of hours of training per week and sports experience). Results. The AI level of able-bodied tandem captains is significantly higher than the level in visually impaired athletes. Blind tandem cyclists were found to be a fairly homogeneous group according to AI. There were no differences in AI and the degree and time of vision loss, the number of hours of training per week and when a cycling license was received. Psychometric analysis showed that AIMS is a reliable and consistent research tool in the evaluation of AI of tandem cyclists. Conclusions. The findings suggest that there is a need to increase the involvement of blind cyclists in the sport as well as their responsibility for sports results.