Episode 7: Swimming and Well-being

Research output: Non-textual outputDigital or Visual Products


In this episode of Transforming Sport, Alex Channon interviews Sport and Leisure Cultures research group member Sean Heath about his ongoing research with youth competitive swimmers An expert in youth competitive swimming and children’s sport scholarship, and an avid swimmer, Sean Heath recently turned his attention to pain, injury, and the well-being of youth who compete and train with competitive swimming clubs. Here he discusses the importance of the physical, emotional, and social aspects of training and competition in swimming as a key aspects of youths’ everyday experiences and their well-being. Noting the disjunctures and disruptions which injury and illness can cause in the lives of athletes, Sean discusses the variations in participation which allows youth to maintain connection to the water and their sport. He also discusses the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the sport of swimming in the UK and some of the encouraging lessons a break from organized competitive sport can provide.

Sean Heath has two recent publications on the effects of burnout and the COVID-19 pandemic, on youth competitive swimmers’ well-being. These are in the edited volume High Performance Youth Swimming published by Routledge; Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group, American Anthropological Association. He can be found on twitter at @SeanmrHeath, and his other research is accessible via his University of Brighton staff profile page: https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/persons/sean-heath
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSport and Leisure Cultures Research Group
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020


  • swimming
  • wellbeing
  • youth
  • injury
  • illness


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