The purpose of this study is to use triathlon and trail-running participants as examples in order to evaluate the relationship between sports participants and global environmental issues.
In recent years, in the field of sports, there is a trend, among sports organizations, to implement pro-environmental initiatives. However, the relationship between those sports participants and environmental issues has not been discussed. Therefore, the research focus on whether sports participants will also begin acting in an environmentally conscious manner. While it examines global issues, much of researcher specific information emanates from observation of how Japanese sports and related organizations address environmental issues.
In this study, researcher conducted questionnaire surveys of triathlon and trail-running participants and analyzed the relationship between specialization and the environmental awareness. The results from both sports indicated that the participants’ involvement in the sport (emotional involvement) affected their pro-environmental behaviors, and that they were more likely to take pro-environmental behaviors only when their involvement was high. On the other hand, the participant’s behavior, for example, the number of years in competition or their skill in the sport does not increase the likelihood of becoming environmentally conscious, even in sports such as triathlons or trail running that are closely related to nature. This result presents sports organization with a social-responsibility challenge; going forward, perhaps it is important for them to encourage pro-environmental behaviors and promote a sense of social responsibility, as athletes, among the participants.