Study aim: To examine the factors that motivate Cypriots to participate in sport, particularly examining the differences between the last 3 generations regarding their motivations for sport involvement at the present and at the ages of 12-18 years.
Material and methods: The study was completed by survey method among 3 generational groups in Cyprus comprised of secondary school students, their parents, and their grandparents (N=1067). Data were collected via questionnaires that contained 3 open-ended, 16 multiple-choice, and 12 semantic differential scale questions. The response rate was 100% for the students, 77.4% for the parents, and 65.5% for the grandparents. The data were analyzed by the SPSS program for Microsoft Windows; factor analysis and one-way analysis of variance were used.
Results: The examined motivations were clustered into two factors: Joy Factor and Health Factor. Significant differences were found among the 3 generations in their sporting activities at present and the ages of 12-18 years. The students' participation motivations for sport are closely related to fun and enjoyment. Their parents have similar motives at present, but in their childhood they considered health enhancement as the most important reason for sport involvement. The oldest generation regarded the improvement of their health as a stimulating factor for sport in their childhood and youth; they did not change this during their whole life cycle.
Conclusions: Generational differences in the motivation for participation in sport are probably universal, but their elements are dissimilar depending on the value system in general and in sport in societies. The historical and cultural circumstances in Cyprus allow for the generalization of the conclusions only at the national level.