chapter  9
20 Pages

MASTERS SPORT AS A STRATEGY FOR MANAGING THE AGING PROCESS

ByRylee A. Dionigi

In contemporary western society, regular physical activity is promoted and understood as a means of maintaining one’s health and independence, particularly for older people. The social and economic concerns of an aging population have prompted governments and businesses alike to provide opportunities for older people to participate in sport and exercise. For example, advocating participation in Masters sport has become part of the existing health promotion and ‘successful aging’ or ‘aging well’ discourses. In other words, older people are now encouraged to regularly participate in sport to improve their physical, mental, and social health, and, consequently, to delay the onset of age-related diseases, disability, and dependency on the health and welfare systems. The emphasis here is on self-responsibility for achieving and retaining good health, resisting the aging process, and postponing ‘deep old age’ (Gilleard & Higgs, 2000).