Using participatory action research to develop an induction programme designed to facilitate thriving in an Olympic sport organisation

Michael John Richard Passaportis*, Daniel J. Brown, Chris Wagstaff, Rachel Arnold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Elite sport environments are becoming increasingly complex and volatile as sport organisations search for a competitive edge to deliver instant and consistent success (Wagstaff, 2016). These multifaceted environments have the potential to significantly impact athlete well-being and performance, and may be a particularly salient influence for athletes transitioning into elite sport organisations. Thriving may offer practitioners a means to ease potentially difficult transition processes by promoting high levels of wellbeing and performance simultaneously. Thus, this study aimed to create an induction programme for new athletes transitioning onto an Olympic programme that would facilitate thriving by enhancing both athlete performance and well-being. To achieve these aims, a participatory action research (PAR) design was employed. PAR approaches view research as a collaborative enterprise based on the assumption that academic researchers and community members can come together to create or change practices. The lead researcher and several members of a British Olympic sport organisation (e.g., sport psychology practitioner, Head of People and Culture) undertook a joint process of self-reflective cycles involving planning, acting and observing, and reflecting over eight months. Through this collaboration, an induction programme underpinned by guiding principles of trust, clarity, and belonging was created to promote athlete thriving. These principals were enabled through excellent two-way communication, appropriate challenge and support, and an individual needs led approach. This ensured multidisciplinary support teams maintained a consistent focus on thriving throughout the induction process which positively benefited inductees and effectively communicated the organisation’s commitment to holistic development of their athletes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2022
Event16th European Congress of Sport & Exercise Psychology - Padova, Italy
Duration: 11 Jul 202216 Jul 2022


Conference16th European Congress of Sport & Exercise Psychology
Abbreviated titleFEPSAC 2022


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