Assessment of motivations of masters athletes at the World Masters Games
Walsh, J, Heazlewood, IT, DeBeliso, M & Climstein, M 2018, 'Assessment of motivations of masters athletes at the World Masters Games', The Sport Journal.
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The Motivations of Marathoners Scales (MOMS) is a quantitative instrument for assessing motivation of marathon participants. A large sample of masters athletes completed the MOMS as part of a questionnaire at the World Masters Games (WMG), the world’s largest multisport event. The aim of this research project was to document statistical patterns within this sample for the psychological variables in the MOMS. As the MOMS had been used for 25 years, this large sample represented a good opportunity to document patterns 1/20 in the application of the MOMS psychometric tool and recommendations for those interested in promoting masters sports, based upon the participant motivations to compete. Statistically significant patterns were identified in the motivations of the 3,928 participants (2,010 male, 1,918 female) who completed the 56 question MOMS survey. As well as gender-based differences in motivations, 37 of the 56 questions were identified as being more or less important motivators by the participants. The most motivation for the cohort as a whole was given by the item construct “to socialize with other participants”, though there were also significant differences between the two genders. The weight control questions indicated these masters athletes did not place a priority on this construct, thus focusing marketing initiatives on constructs such as weight control may be ineffective. For promotion of participation in masters sport and by inference physical activity at older ages, marketing initiatives would focus on such constructs as to compete with others, to improving sporting performance, socialization, health improvement, improving physical fitness, feeling a sense of achievement, pushing oneself beyond current limits and staying in physical condition, all of which were more highly rated by participants than weight control.