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On the 50th anniversary of the ISSA and IRSS, a leading scholar on
ageing, sport, and physical activity, ISSA President Elizabeth Pike considers
the increasing numbers of "Third Age Societies" and the trajectory,
challenges, and future directions of sociological research on sport, age, and
ability. Noting longstanding interest in sport and ageing dating back to the
late 1800s, the trajectory of research in this area has accelerated with both
longer life spans and evidence of a more 'heroic' model of the possibilities
of aging. A continuing challenge for sociologists of sport is to critique
dominant perceptions of ageing that suggest many activities are
inappropriate for the ageing body. Future inquiry in the area of sport, age,
and ablility needs to expand in coming years in recognition that people
over 60 constitute the fastest growing segment of the population in many
societies and many received conceptions about the roles and possibilities
for physical activity and sport need more careful interrogation in
companion with more nuanced understandings of both the populations and
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-574
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport (IRSS)
Issue number4-5
Early online date8 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • sport
  • sociology
  • physcial activity
  • age
  • ability


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