Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Alphonse Keasley


The question of how different races sustained involvement in their sport for an extended period of time originated from the investigator’s personal interest in sport and sustained motivation. To explore this question, 20 athletes from varying sports, races, and age groups were selected to participate in in-depth semi-structured interviews. Through qualitative analysis, several preponderant themes were identified as vital to sustaining participation in a sport regardless of race or ethnicity. These themes were as follows: the need for reasonable goals, practical rewarding life skills that were a result of working towards these goals, and an overall feeling of enjoyment from participation in their sport. It was concluded that the motivation to participate in an activity as physically and mentally demanding as sport required a particular energy source, one that is renewable and not whimsically challenged. This study underscores the need for renewable sources of motivation in order to stay active and satisfied with a sport for an extended period of time.