Numerous academic and practitioner research has examined the role of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the development of sport coaches in the UK (e.g. Crisp 2018; Stoszkowski and Collins 2018). However, whilst most fields related to coach development have significant bodies of work underpinning them, there is a dearth of information related to best practice within the context of disability sport coaching. Given that both coach learning in the HEI context and disability sports coaching are significant areas worthy of further exploration, this work investigates how learning can be developed through disability sport coaching in the HEI context. The aims of this study were to gather the perceptions, thoughts, and experiences of ten student-coaches enrolled on an HEI coaching programme who were completing a year long placement module that included sessions for participants with disabilities. Data were collected through two focus group meetings with the student-coaches and the submission of learning journals. Inductive analysis showed that coaching disability groups facilitated learning through generating knowledge from practice through a process of reflection, higher order thinking, and meta-cognition. This suggests that using disability coaching can be a useful tool for HEIs to use in terms of challenging student-coach practice and education.
Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) crises in sport provide stories for the mass media. From individuals such as Ben Johnson and Lance Armstrong, to countries and organisations such as Russian Athletics and Major League Baseball. More recently, research has emerged that suggests that those who take drugs, even the once, are permanently advantaged over those who never have (Egner et al., 2013; Eriksson, 2006). This has expanded existing arguments related to PEDs, even extending debate to one that argues that PED use should be monitored and legalised in order to create a level playing field – as opposed to ‘banning’ athletes. In contrast, there are varying reasons for the rationale of ‘clean’ sports. In the first kind of discussion related to this the central premise is often about health concerns and PED use. In the second discussion, we hear much about cheating, unfairness, and the perversion of sport (Schneider & Butcher, 2000). At the present time, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) police PED use in sport and use Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) that allow a sliding scale of transgressions with lifetime bans not given in the first instance of a failed test. Put simply then, these ADRVs do not facilitate a system for those not wishing to compete with others who, at any time, have used PEDs. However, in the 1980's a number of people in Britain made the decision to distance themselves from what they saw as significant doping in British and international Weightlifting. They achieved this through creating competitive strength organisations dedicated to a drug free for life ethos. In this paper I draw on the experiences and reflections of some of these key people, and contend that it was the ideology of fairplay that influenced this movement, and that the rules on PED use should not be fully authoritative and determinate.