Athletes have multiple motivations for sport participation that can wax and wane over time, particularly over a lifetime of sport participation. The purpose of this chapter is to explore a plethora of atheoretical research examining why athletes compete in disability sport. The many reasons that athletes with disabilities cite for sport engagement are similar to those of able-bodied athletes. However, there are also reasons that are unique to a person’s impairment. People with disabilities often have chronic pain, so physical activity via sport can help with pain management. People with disabilities have less extensive social networks than able-bodied people so sport can be an attractive vehicle for making social connections. People with disabilities struggle more with activities of daily living (ADL), so the strength and endurance obtained through sport can be helpful in everyday life and performing ADLs. In general, motivations for sport participation are more intrinsic than extrinsic.
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