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Tytuł: Attitudes of physical education students towards masters athletes

Krzysztof Kusy, Agnieszka Staniewska, Jacek Zieliński
Studies in Physical Culture and Tourism
Strona początkowa:
Strona końcowa:
Słowa kluczowe:
masters athletes, students, physical education, attitudes

Introduction. The percentage of older people in our societies is on the rise. The present paper addresses the problem of young people's attitudes towards senior citizens in the context of physical activity. Aim of Study. Older people practising competitive sports have never been the subject to students' opinion. The paper attempts to examine the attitudes of female and male students of physical education, who intend to work professionally in physical education and sport, towards competitive masters track and field athletes. Material and Methods. The respondents were 174 third-year undergraduate physical education students (100 males and 74 females). The students' age was from 20 to 23 years (21.6 ± 1.0 years). The participants filled in a questionnaire whose main part consisted of seven statements describing attitudes toward masters athletes and their performance. Results. We observed, in general, positive attitudes of physical education students towards masters track and field athletes. This finding is contrary to the results of most studies on students of other majors, where rather negative attitudes were reported. The attitudes of female students were more positive than those of male students, which was consistent with results of research on gender differences in the context of ageing beliefs. Surprisingly, the personal contact with masters weakened the positive attitude in male students. Conclusions. The results of the study show that the domain of sport may be less susceptible to the phenomenon of ageism and intolerance towards older people. Sport could be considered an effective tool of propagating positive attitudes towards older people. Physical education students seem to be mentally ready to take on the future challenge of working with the elderly, however, the problem still requires further research.