Exploring participant motivations to take part in an elite, multinational, sport-for-development event

Jon Welty Peachey, George Cunningham, Alexis Lyras, Adam Cohen, Jennifer Bruening

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One neglected area of research in sport event management has been to examine the motivations of individuals to take part in large, multinational sport-for-development (SFD) events. The importance of examining such motivations is highlighted by SFD's frequent struggle with attracting individuals to the programs, despite well-meaning intentions and agendas. Hence, we undertook this study to examine participant motivations for attending the World Scholar-Athlete Games and World Youth Peace Summit, a combined, multinational SFD event with a peace agenda set in the US. We conducted two studies-one quantitatively focused and the other through personal interviews and focus groups. Results from both studies revealed that individuals were motivated to participate in order to engage in world learning, for skill development, and for the opportunity to travel, with world learning being the most prominent factor. International participants had higher mean scores on all factors than domestic participants, and sport participants were more motivated by skill development than fine arts participants. These findings imply that sport events with a peace focus should highlight socialization opportunities and the mission of the organization to attract participants, while still providing an environment of healthy competition and skill development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-168
Number of pages16
JournalEvent Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Athlete motivation
  • International sport events
  • Multinational sport events
  • Sport event participant motivation
  • Sport events
  • Sport-for-development (SFD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing


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