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

Bill Cheuk Long Chan, Billy Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 (Smith, Flowers, and
Larkin 2009). 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
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019


  • ageing
  • British
  • health psychology
  • Hong Kong
  • phenomenology

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