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Despite the health benefits of sport, the proportion of people participating in sport decreases with age. This qualitative study explored the benefits and barriers regarding older adult community sport participation, from the perspective of national sporting organizations, in addition to older adult sport club and nonsport club members, across eight focus group interviews (n = 49). Seven benefits were discussed, primarily social and physical health and intergenerational opportunities. Ten barriers were also discussed, including physical health, time constraints, and lack of appropriate playing opportunities. Ensuring access to activities that can benefit social health is of great importance to older adults. As sport can provide participation opportunities across generations, it can be an ideal physical activity option for this age group. However, a major barrier is that sport policy often prioritizes the participation for younger age groups. Policymakers should include a focus on older adults, to derive social health benefits.
Eime, Westerbeek, and van Uffelen are with the Institute of Health and Sport, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Jenkin is with the Dept. of Sport, Health and Exercise at University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. Eime is also with the Faculty of Health, Federation University, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. van Uffelen is with the Physical Activity, Sports & Health Research Group, Dept. of Kinesiology, KU Leuven—University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.