Psycho-social perspectives on the motivation and commitment of Masters athletes
Introduction ‘Masters’ athletes are individuals who participate in organised sport, usually beginning at 35 years of age, with participants older than 55 referred to as ‘Seniors’. Masters sport is distinguished from exercise because it is rule-governed and has varying degrees of inherent competition. Some Masters appreciate being referred to as ‘athletes’ whereas others are reluctant to be labelled as such, however, they all typically acknowledge that they engage in practice or training to prepare themselves for a sport event. Events usually require formal registration of some type to jamborees, tournaments or adult leagues which may be inclusive and recreationally competitive on a local level. Participants may register for inclusive yet incrementally more competitive events such as Masters or Seniors Games that occur at regional, national or international levels. Finally, there are a host of Championships that occur from local to international levels which are exclusive in that athletes must first qualify in order to participate, and thus they entail comparatively higher degrees of competition. Generally, Masters events are more exclusive in nature than Seniors events.