Skateboarding, Time and Ethics: ageing and the freedom to play. An auto ethnographic adventure of motherhood and risk.

Sayers, Esther. 2022. Skateboarding, Time and Ethics: ageing and the freedom to play. An auto ethnographic adventure of motherhood and risk. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, ISSN 1751-1321 [Article] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

As a 52-year-old academic and mother of three, this research explores the ethics of the question ‘do I have time to go skateboarding?’ Using the themes of time, injury, ageing and learning, it explores the question in relation to Simone de Beauvoir’s ethics of ambiguity. The approach employs autoethnographic and sensory methods to explore the authors own experience of learning to skateboard in her late forties. It uses learning to skateboard as a vehicle from which to consider time and productivity. Embracing de Beauvoir’s ethics of transcendence in navigating the psychological burden of ageing and informing the ongoing methodological approach required for making time to play, the author subverts ideas of progression and knowledge acquisition from childhood to adulthood and explores instead the converse transition from adult to child. The article draws conclusions about the value of lifelong learning and what expanded ideas about productivity mean for our ethical positioning in the world. How being in the skatepark together requires an ethical contract between skateboarders, an unambiguous ethics of being together where adhering to a system of unwritten rules means that everyone has enough space to stay safe. Risk and the time implications of injury are explored throughout in terms of the choices we make at different stages of our lives as we navigate a balance between personal desire and social good.

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Additional Information:

“This is an original manuscript of an article submitted to Sport, Ethics and Philosophy ( for for peer review”


ethics, time, injury, skateboarding, learning, ageing, autoethnography, freedom

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies > Centre for the Arts and Learning


May 2022Submitted

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Date Deposited:

14 Jun 2022 11:05

Last Modified:

14 Jun 2022 11:05


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