Hello ex-athlete!

We are interested in exploring early specialization within aesthetic sports, and if it could be a contributing factor why athletes decide to drop out. Of course, you may have left for other reasons and we are interested in those, too. In particular, we will explore whether specific reasons for dropout are related to:
  • Early sport specialization
  • Aspects of the sport environment (e.g., coaching behaviours, and how you felt) 
We believe that a better understanding of these topics can help create more sustainable sport participation. Therefore, we hope that you will want to help create new knowledge by participating in our study. 

Inclusion criteria
We are looking for participants who (1) have been active in an aesthetic sports (for example, competitive dance, synchronized swimming, diving, figure skating, cheerleading, trampoline, TeamGym, rhythmic or artistic gymnastics), (2) are between the ages 15 to 20, (3) have competed and participated in high level training, for at least three years and a minimum of three times per week, (4) left their sport or took a break between 2017 and 2019. 

What are we asking you to do?
We would like you to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire contains three main parts, with questions about:
  • Training history (specialization)
  • Your perceptions of your sport environment
  • Your dropout reasons 
Completing the questionnaire will take about 15-20 minutes. There are no right or wrong answers, and we ask you to be as honest as you can - all your experiences and opinions are valuable. 

Important information and ethical approach
Your participation is completely voluntary and is not associated with any particular risks. You have the right to discontinue at any time without any repercussions. You can always contact us with any questions you might have. 

Before answering the questionnaire, you will be asked to give informed consent. By doing so, you agree that you have understood what the study is about, and that you wish to take part. All information will be collected and administered by us:

The student researchers: Pernilla Sörensen and Emelie Johansson
The supervisors: Sanna Nordin-Bates and Charlotte Downing

The questionnaire will be kept confidential, and your individual data (questionnaire answers) will not be shared with any outside persons. Results will only be presented as anonymous group averages. All data will be handled with due regard for the laws and guidelines governing the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, and will be deleted after the study is completed. If you would like to see the information we have collected from you, you only need to ask. You can then also correct any potential errors.

According to the general data protection regulation (GDPR), we collect information from you (1) if you have given informed consent to participate, and (2) in the knowledge that this research will give valuable information of general interest. Data protection manager representing The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences is Birgitta Edenius (gdpr@gih.se). 

For more information or questions, feel free to contact us (contact information below).

Thank you for your contribution!
Best regards, 

Student researchers
Pernilla Sörensen 
Physical education programme 2017 - 2022
The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences
pernilla.sorensen@student.gih.se 

Emelie Johansson
The Sports Science and Sport Coaching programme 2018-2021
The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences
emelie.johansson6311@stude

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