Motivation, barriers, coping of older athletes: Weightlifting during the COVID19 Pandemic
Sport has been heavily impacted by the pandemic for over a year with restrictions and closures of facilities. The main aims of this study are to identify motivation and barriers for an international group of Master weightlifters (ages 35 and up) and analyze age and gender differences in pandemic-related changes to physical activities. A sample of 1051 older athletes, 523 women and 528 men, aged from 35 to 88 years, from Australia, Canada, Europe, and the USA provided responses to an online survey conducted in June 2021. A confirmatory factor analysis was performed to examine age, gender, and regional differences about motivation, barriers, and pandemic impact on sport and physical activities. Participants showed enthusiasm for the opportunity to compete despite health challenges with increasing age but faced barriers due to access to training facilities and qualified coaches even before the pandemic. The oldest athletes had the greatest reduction in physical activities during the pandemic. Weightlifters had the opportunity to compete in virtual competitions and 44% would like to see some of these continued in the future.
Open access: https://www.mdpi.com/1257918
PI: Marianne Huebner, College of Natural Science
CSTAT Collaborators: Wenjuan Ma