The period of midlife for a man is often one that is difficult to navigate given the significant physical, emotional and social changes that can occur during this period. Indeed, there is limited information available to men, and practitioners who work with them, to assist in understanding this significant ‘slice of life’. If we throw sport into the mix, which is commonly perceived as being a site that can develop and enhance one’s masculine identity, any potential physical failings, or diminishing of sporting performance, have the potential to impact the way in which men perceive themselves and their masculinity. This chapter will use in-depth qualitative data from Australian Masters surf life saving athletes to illuminate the relationship between sport and masculinity within the critical context of the transition period from ‘young to old’. While in-depth narratives from ‘ageing sportsmen’, aged between 42 and 55 years, will provide the majority of discussion, I will also use reflexive autoethnography to reflect upon my own particular challenges as a ‘former’ elite-level athlete now involved in Masters sport. Similar to other men, I have been trying to come to terms with a physically failing body that once played a significant role in defining my own masculine identity. Ultimately, the chapter will explore how we can continue to use sport as a means through which masculine identity can be developed and maintained in men as they move into midlife and beyond.
|Title of host publication||The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport|
|Editors||Rory Magrath, Jamie Cleland, Eric Anderson|
|Publisher||Springer-Nature and Palgrave-Macmillan|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Sept 2019|
- ageing male