Masters of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects


This project mainly talks about the reasons of senior athletes why they participate in the Senior Games. It was well known that physical exercise can promote healthy lifestyles and physical condition of human beings, and large numbers of research had been done to investigate the motives and benefits of youth and adults to do exercise. However, few researchers spent their time studying the motivational orientations of elderly adults to participate in activities, exercise or sports. Hence, the first purpose of this study is to reveal the reasons of seniors why they participate in sports, and the Senior Games is a typical senior sport event for researchers to study. Another purpose of this study is to analyze the benefits senior athletes actually can receive from sports. Based on the purposes of this study, the author designed three research questions: (1) what are the motives of seniors engaging in the Senior Games? (2) what are the changes seniors made from being a senior athlete? (3) what is the different motivation between male and female athletes to participate in the Senior Games? In order to answer these questions, the author reviewed the conceptual theories about participation motivation, competence motivation theory, and self-determination theory; the purpose of the Senior Games; the aging situation in America; and Title IX. In addition, based on previous study, the researcher also summarized previous findings. From the standpoint of research design, this project utilized qualitative research method to investigate research questions. In addition to supporting previous research, this study also found some new reasons for seniors to participate in sports. The most important reason is the appeal of competitiveness; although previous research and NGSA highlighted the primary purpose of hosting the Senior Games is not for competing but for improving healthy lifestyles (Erickson, 2015), the participants of this study


Sungho Cho

Second Reader

Nancy Spencer








Sport Administration