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Research To Travel or to Compete: Motivations of Masters Swimmers

The underlying motivations behind participating in a sports event such as a swim meet are complex and varied especially for adult participants. These motivations may be related to the thrill of competition or excitement at traveling to a new pool or aquatic facility. Investigations of motivations behind participation can enable meet directors and aquatic facility managers to create more memorable experiences that boost participation and encourage repeat visitors who produce social and economic benefits for the aquatic facility and event. We measured motivations of Masters swim­mers using the Participant Motivation Questionnaire (PMQ) modified for swimmers and the Travel Career Ladder (TCL) at the 2006 US Masters Swimming Short Course Championships. Descriptive and multivariate statistics revealed that Masters swim­mers participated primarily for competitive reasons with travel only as a secondary motivator. Participating to be with other members of their team was revealed as another important motivation.

Authors: Nancy M. Hritz, William D. Ramos

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