C02 ‘Strength in Solitude? Investigating the potential effects of isolation on the performance and wellbeing of student athletes’


  • Ade Oke Sheffield Hallam University




Following the global COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of isolation has been a lot more prevalent in society (Jukic et al., 2020, 8). People have described being negatively affected both mentally and physically as a result of suffering from isolation during the pandemic (Fancourt, Steptoe, & Bu 2021, Lancet Psychiatry, 8, 141-149). However, isolation has been something that a lot of people have faced well before Covid emerged (West, Kellner, & Moore-West, 1986, Comp Psychiatry, 27, 351-363). Research shows that people who suffer from loneliness described feelings of isolation and were more likely to seek help from mental healthcare organisations (West, Kellner, & Moore-West 1986, Comp Psychiatry, 27, 351-363). The aim of this research project is to develop a greater understanding of isolation, the meaning of isolation to different individuals and what effects it may have on an athlete’s performance or wellbeing. Previous research highlighted how susceptible students can be to suffering from isolation (Lim & Vighnarajah, 2018, SHS web of conferences, 53). It was suggested that greater awareness should be provided for isolation and how best to manage it. Lim & Vighnarajah (2018, Per Acad Soc Psych Dev) also found that a student’s needs should consider a broad range of influences, as every aspect can be linked to enhancing a students’ success in their education. As this research was conducted solely on students, it would be of interest to investigate what influence sporting participation could have on education, and vice versa. The effects of isolation will also be compared in both educational and sporting settings as well as what setting is more likely to onset isolation. The student athletes will are provided with an opportunity to describe how they cope with isolation and maintain high levels of performance.