Pathways to Masters Sport: Sharing Stories from Sport ‘Continuers’, ‘Rekindlers’ and ‘Late Bloomers’
In this chapter I draw from interview data on older athletes (over 75 years old) who regularly compete in individual sports, such as running, swimming, cycling and racquet sports (Dionigi, 2008). I make sense of this data using the work of Jones and Higgs (2010) and Bauman (2000), among others, on normative pronouncements as they relate to ageing, activity, health and fitness in contemporary society. The 7 people who are the focus of this chapter were born between 1913 and 1926. They have experienced The Great Depression, World War I and/or World War II. In addition, they have lived through a cultural period in which understandings of ageing were predominantly associated with the acceptance of natural bodily decline (Jones and Higgs, 2010) and sport was considered inappropriate, dangerous and unnecessary for women and older people (Grant, 2001; Dionigi, 2010). Now older adults live in a climate that is shaped and defined by a resistance to old age and one in which ‘active ageing’ is promoted in media reports, government policies and in the sport/exercise sciences (Pike, 2011; Tulle, 2008; World Health Organization, 2002).
KeywordsSport Participation Master Athlete Consumer Society Late Bloomer Racquet Sport
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