Doing Good with My Body: Physical Philanthropy through Physically Active Participation in Charity Sport Events

By Andrew Meyer and Michelle Renee Umstattd Meyer.

Published by The International Journal of Sport and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 28, 2017 Free Download

The purpose of this study was to explore whether muscular Christian themes could be found among participants at cause-related events. Through our analysis of the 2010 LIVESTRONG online survey we found that participating in physically active ways to help others (engaging in “physical philanthropy” by using one’s physical body) was associated with two muscular Christian themes, while also revealing interesting racial, gender, and socioeconomic characteristic differences. Our findings show that participants engaging in physical philanthropy, versus non-physically active participation, were more likely to be male and earn a higher income, while being less likely to self-identify as black. Additionally, the findings demonstrated that participants engaging in physical philanthropy were more likely to report greater personal benefit from their engagement, a greater interest for engaging with the cancer community at large, and donating financially. Through these findings, we demonstrate the persistence and perpetuation of muscular Christian themes today, which sport scholars agree shaped the ideologies of modern sport. Our discussion focuses on who chooses to engage in physical philanthropy and understanding sport- and physical activity-centered philanthropic efforts. Through the discussion we also provide broader considerations about the culture of cause-related events, physical philanthropy, and physical activity promotion.

Keywords: For-cause Sport Events, Sport Meaning, Muscular Christianity

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.51-67. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 28, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 383.702KB)).

Dr. Andrew Meyer

Assistant Professor, Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA

Dr. Michelle Renee Umstattd Meyer

Associate Professor, Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA