Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name





Aging;Competitive sport;Masters athletes;Older adults;Retirement;Successful aging


Sean Horton


Patti Millar



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


By the year 2030, all baby boomers will have turned 65 and will represent more than 20% of the Canadian population. Within Canada, this aging population is expected to increase healthcare costs by an estimated 50%. Many baby boomers have adopted a proactive approach to long-term health and aging which challenges historical concepts of retirement. Considered a critical time for influencing health-related behaviours, retirement may provide a window for the promotion of sport. Older adults are underrepresented in sport compared to other age groups, yet there is evidence to suggest that sport participation is increasing among the age 65+ group. This study explored the nature of sport participation among baby boomers (who train for and compete in masters sport events) to understand its role in navigating life post retirement. Specifically, this study sought to capture how participation may facilitate social connections, health, and wellbeing among retirees. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with retired baby boomers born between 1946-1965 who regularly participate in sport (e.g., track and field, hockey, tennis). The data captured ideographic descriptions, personal beliefs, and meanings of the role of sport in their lives. Major themes included how sport is a tool in the transition to retirement, the importance of sport for life, and the need for opportunities to engage in meaningful competition. Findings suggest that sport-related social relationships, daily habits, and behaviours contribute to a positive retirement experience which may offer continuity in the health and wellbeing of aging baby boomers.

Included in

Kinesiology Commons