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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The counselling needs of British Columbia student-athletes : a preliminary study Lawley, Greg Donald

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore some of the counselling needs of British Columbian post-secondary student athletes and discover what services are being provided for them. Student athletes at one British Columbia institution- The University-College of the Fraser Valley (U.C.F.V.) were interviewed. Data was collected by interviewing 12 male and female student athletes, in their 1st to 4th year of eligibility. U.C.F.V. student athletes expressed the need for counselling services relating to the challenges they face in regards to Academics; Personal, social, and leisure demands; Health and injury; Retirement and transition; Career development. According to the results of the study, U.C.F.V. 1st and 2nd year student athletes were not aware of available counselling services or where to find them. U.C.F.V. 3rd and 4th year student athletes were only slightly more aware. As a group U.C.F.V. student athletes felt that counselling services were not promoted or provided to them as either students or athletes. Student athletes suggested various methods of increasing athletes' awareness of and comfort using counselling services, including having an individual responsible for coordinating services for student athletes. Counselling services could be provided in group or individualized formats depending on the nature of the service. The results suggest that B.C. post-secondary institutions should recognize the unique counselling needs of their student athletes and make an effort to investigate ways to provide and promote services to address these needs. Areas of future research include expanding the study to see what other colleges/universities in B.C. and Canada are providing for student athletes. A comprehensive counselling program should be designed and implemented, then researched for effectiveness, at a B.C. post-secondary school. The effectiveness of the program could then be measured by academic progress, attrition rates, graduation rates, drug and alcohol use, and the use of coping mechanisms by student athletes. Research needs to be undertaken that measures the rate of attrition and reasons for attrition at B.C. universities for student athletes before they graduate with a certificate, diploma, or degree. It would be useful to compare the daily life of a student athlete with that of a non-athlete.

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