Missing the boat? How older women in Fife create new narratives of health through Scottish Coastal Rowing

Jennifer Remnant, Nina Dawn Laurie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


There is an extensive literature that explores the sociology of sport. Furthermore, public health literature continues to examine the role of sport and exercise in relation to population health. Where sport is present in literature on the sociology of health and illness it is largely to explore narratives that include sporting injury, reflecting literature that explores the onset of long term conditions more generally - often in conjunction with issues relating to masculinity. This paper focuses instead on the exploration of ‘everyday’ health in relation to sport. Additionally, the study moves away from the often masculine-centric nature present both in sport, and literature exploring sport, and examines the experiences of women who, in later life, have taken up Scottish Coastal Rowing in Fife. In addition to being an exercise, there is a strong focus within the sport on community cohesion and development. A deliberate decision regarding the design and distribution of the boats being rowed is that they are delivered in kit-form, and have to be built and maintained by those that row them. This paper situates this desire for community engagement and exercise uptake in post-industrial (fishing and mining) communities in Fife more widely that continue to experience socioeconomic disadvantage and associated health inequalities at a population level.Drawing on interview data, this paper considers how and why older women are engaging with this particular sport, how they address issues of gender, age, health and illness in relation to sport and exercise and what implications their involvement has for their communities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
EventMedical Sociology Group 49th Annual Conference 2017 - University of York, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sept 201715 Sept 2017


ConferenceMedical Sociology Group 49th Annual Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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