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    "Older, faster, stronger": the multiple benefits of masters sport participation

    Deck, Sarah, Doherty, Alison, Hall, Craig, Schneider, Angela, Patil, Swarali ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9634-2301 and Belfry, Glen (2023) "Older, faster, stronger": the multiple benefits of masters sport participation. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. pp. 1-12. ISSN 1063-8652

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    While masters sport aligns with the holistic concept of active aging, related research has focused predominantly on the physical domain, and less is known about the psychological, cognitive, and social benefits of older adults' participation. This study examined, in combination, the perceived psychological, social, cognitive, and physical benefits of training and competing as a masters athlete, while considering age and gender differences. Forty masters athletes residing in Canada were interviewed (21 men and 19 women; 15 who were 50-64 years and 25 who were 65-79 years), representing 15 different sports. Interviews were coded both deductively and inductively, revealing several subthemes of benefits for the broader perceived psychological, social, cognitive, and physical benefits, with few but notable differences between women and men, and those younger than 65 years and those 65+ years. Our findings provide new insights into the positive experiences of active aging associated with high levels of physical activity among older adults, such as greater self-confidence, especially for women, comradery, and feeling mentally sharper, especially for the older age group.

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