Doing ‘More for Adult Sport’: Promotional and Programmatic Efforts to Offset Adults’ Psycho-social Obstacles

  • Bradley W. Young
  • Bettina Callary


This chapter addresses psycho-social and pedagogical research pertaining to adult sportspersons, or Masters athletes. Young and Callary specifically review three areas that may inform strategies on how to attract more interested adults to sport: promotional messaging, accommodating participatory motives in programming and tailoring curriculum to the needs of adult athletes. Working from the premise that more effective informational strategies are needed to promote adult sport, the authors present emerging research to illustrate how messaging around involvement opportunities may persuade middle-aged adults who participated in sport in youth to re-engage as adults. The authors then discuss a line of inquiry examining whether adult sportspersons see participatory motives accommodated in their programming differently than adult exercisers, and whether incorporating motives into sport programming may be a strategy to grow adult sport. The authors appraise emerging findings and what they mean for the recruitment or retention of adult sport participants. They further identify areas demanding greater scrutiny, including conceptual limitations and the risk of overgeneralizing results beyond privileged and exclusive adult cohorts who may already have an interest in sport. Finally, the authors describe research portraying how learning principles are different in adult sport than in the youth context, specifically underscoring the pertinence of andragogical principles. Based on perspectives from athletes and coaches, this work suggests that to do ‘more for adult sport’, current coaching curriculum and programming may need to be reconsidered to facilitate enriched sport experiences for an older cohort of adults.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley W. Young
    • 1
  • Bettina Callary
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Human KineticsUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Sport and Physical Activity Leadership and Community StudiesCape Breton UniversitySydneyCanada

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