Page 1: Welcome to the athlete retirement study




LJMU’s Research Ethics Committee Approval Reference: 19SLN014


Title of Study: A study of elite athlete identity and the transitional experiences into retirement.

1.      Who will conduct the study?

Principal Investigator: Kelly Massey

Co-investigators: Dr Amy Whitehead

School/Faculty within LJMU: School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition in the Faculty of Education, Health and Community.

2.      What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of the present study is to identify some of the experiences involved in and how identity changed during retirement from elite sport in order to gain a better understanding.  By enhancing knowledge on what makes a successful transition from elite sport so decision makers in sport will be more aware of what is required to support athletes in order to reduce negative experiences.

3.      Why have I been invited to participate?

The study aims to identify the experiences of retired elite athletes during their transition into retirement from sport and life after sport.  Retired elite athlete has been defined for the purpose of this study as athletes who must have competed at senior/first team level for their country at a major championships or their professional team within a non-friendly competition at some point within their sporting career.  You have self-identified that you meet the participant criteria and therefor have been invited to participate within this study.

1.      Do I have to take part?

There is no obligation for you to take part within the study and you are free to withdraw from the process at any point without consequences.

2.      What will happen to me if I take part?

You will also be required to complete online questionnaires on your physical activity, athlete identity, self-esteem and life satisfaction.  You have the right to refuse to answer any questions.  

3.      Will I be recorded and how will the recorded media be used?

As the questionnaires are an online format there is no need for you to be recorded.

4.      Are there any possible disadvantages or risks from taking part?

There are no identified disadvantaged or risks as a result of taking part.

5.      What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The information gathered can be used to support others who will go through the same experiences are you and this research will help to improve the knowledge and understanding of the support network around athletes transitioning out of their sport.

6.      What will happen to the data provided and how will my taking part in this project be kept confidential?

You will be asked if you wish to provide explicit consent to be identified as a participant within this study.  As the participant you are in control of your information and have the right to confidentiality and data protection.  As previously mentioned you have the right to change your mind prior to publication of the study and have the option of continuing with the research without being directly identified as a participant.  We will use your personal data in the ways needed to conduct and analyse the study and if necessary, to verify and defend, when required, the process and outcomes of the study.  Personal data collected from you will be recorded using a linked code – the link from the code to your identity will be stored securely and separately from the coded data.  We will use pseudonyms reports to help protect the identity of individuals and organisations unless you tell us that you would like to be attributed to information/direct quotes etc.  Personal data will be accessible to the research team.  It will then be deleted from the original recording device and.  Your consent form, contact details, audio recordings etc. will be retained for 5 years post study by Liverpool John Moores University in line with the data protection regulations. 

7.      Limits to confidentiality

Please note that confidentiality may not be guaranteed; for example, due to the limited size of the participant sample, the position of the participant or information included in reports, participants might be indirectly identifiable in transcripts and reports. The investigator will work with the participant in an attempt to minimise and manage the potential for indirect identification of participants.

In certain exceptional circumstances where you or others may be at significant risk of harm, the investigator may need to report this to an appropriate authority. This would usually be discussed with you first. Examples of those exceptional circumstances when confidential information may have to be disclosed are:

·         The investigator believes you are at serious risk of harm, either from yourself or others

·         The investigator suspects a child may be at risk of harm

·         You pose a serious risk of harm to, or threaten or abuse others

·         As a statutory requirement e.g. reporting certain infectious diseases or money laundering

·         Under a court order requiring the University to divulge information

·         We are passed information relating to an act of terrorism

8.      What will happen to the results of the study?

The investigators intend to publish a report of the overall findings of the experiences and impact of athlete identity on retirement from elite sport..

9.      Who is organising and funding/commissioning the study?

This study is organised by Liverpool John Moores University.

10.  Who has reviewed this study?

This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through, the Liverpool John Moores University Research Ethics Committee (Reference number: 19SLN014).

11.  What if something goes wrong?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, please contact the Principal Investigator who will do their best to answer your query. The investigator should acknowledge your concern within 10 working days and give you an indication of how they intend to deal with it. If you wish to make a complaint, please contact the chair of the Liverpool John Moores University Research Ethics Committee ( and your communication will be re-directed to an independent person as appropriate.

12.  Data Protection Notice

Liverpool John Moores University is the sponsor for this study based in the United Kingdom. We will be using information from you in order to undertake this study and will act as the data controller for this study. This means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. Liverpool John Moores University will process your personal data for the purpose of research.  Research is a task that we perform in the public interest. Liverpool John Moores University will keep identifiable information about you for 5 years after the study has finished.

Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited, as we need to manage your information in specific ways in order for the study to be reliable and accurate. If you withdraw from the study, we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained. To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personally-identifiable information possible.

You can find out more about how we use your information by contacting  If you are concerned about how your personal data is being processed, please contact LJMU in the first instance at If you remain unsatisfied, you may wish to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Contact details, and details of data subject rights, are available on the ICO website at:

13.  Contact for further information

Principal Investigator: Kelly Massey -

Thank you for reading this information sheet and for considering to take part in this study.

1.1. 1. I confirm that I have read and understand the information provided for the above study. I have had the opportunity to consider the information. 2. I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason and that this will not affect my legal rights. 3.  I understand that any personal information collected during the study will be anonymised and remain confidential.