Wellbeing and personality through sports : A qualitative study of older badminton players in two cultures

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The study explores older adults’ lived experiences and meaning making around sports participation, wellbeing, and personality in later life. Semi-structured interviews with six badminton players (three British, three Hong Kong Chinese; age range 56 to 75) were conducted, and the transcripts analysed according to the method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The interviews with the Hong Kong participants were conducted bilingually enabling code-switching between Cantonese and English. Three overarching themes were derived: 1) British and Hong Kong players saw badminton as a conduit for self expression and mood regulation; 2) the British players claimed badminton helped them develop as a person; and 3) the Hong Kong players claimed that badminton was a mirror of their culture. The findings disclose, in addition to physical health, sports participation supports wellbeing and continuing personal development in later life through being a crucible for change. We discuss implications for understanding sports through the phenomenological lens, to illuminate the lifeworld generally, and societal processes beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-362
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Issue number3
Early online date24 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Ageing
  • British
  • health psychology
  • Hong Kong
  • phenomenology


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