PtG Article 20.09.2005

Seminar on sport and the private lives of athletes

How does sport impact on the private lives of athletes? That is the topic of a seminar which takes place at Aarhus University the day after the Play the Game conference ends in Copenhagen.

Researchers at The Institute of Sport Studies at Aarhus University and the Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics at University of Southern Denmark want to explore the link between sports research and private lives and have deliberately timed the seminar for 11 November  - the day after Play the Game 2005 - to allow international researchers to attend.

“It is obvious that some high-performance athletes do extremely well after ending their career while others leave the limelight to turn into alcoholics, drug addicts, even suicide victims. This may be due to intrinsic factors. But other factors also influence the private lives of high-performance athletes such as the media hype around sports celebrities and the increasing measures being taken to control and restrict the lives of athletes”, says one of the organisers, John Bale, visiting professor at Aarhus University.

Not all sport is high performance. Participation in sport at lower levels also play a significant role in forming identities and networks and should therefore be analysed too.

The provisional programme for the seminar contains five presentations:  

  • Verner Møller: Managing Sporting Lives
  • Ask Christiansen: Surveillance and Identity: The Effect of the Doping Campaign on the Self-Conception of Elite Cyclists
  • Jørgen Povlsen: Oda Memborg: A Life in Gymnastics
  • John Bale: Some Ethical Questions and the Public and the Private in Sports Biography
  • Niels Kayser Nielsen: Nacka Skoglund, Public and Private Lives