To better understand the historical pattern of sport participation in Japan, two active elderly groups—Masters athletes and senior university students—were compared. Research findings suggest that Masters athletes perceive sport as serious and competitive, and their previous sport participation leads directly to their sport participation in later life. On the other hand, senior university students are more likely to perceive sport as a playful leisure pursuit. For them, leaving and reentering sport is not uncommon. This paper presents eight possible patterns of lifelong sport and exercise participation that should be considered when designing marketing programs to recruit elderly participants, and when developing programs to meet the needs of a heterogeneous older population with a variety of beliefs, attitudes, and experiences in sport and exercise.
Munehiko Harada, Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences, 1558-1 Noda, Kumatori-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka 590-04, Japan.