Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Eleni Roulis, Jayne Sommers, Brett Bruininks


This study examined the motivations of female student-athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics at two-year institutions. Utilizing a qualitative grounded theory approach, this study investigated four focus groups, constructed of female student-athletes from three different two-year institutions located in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. All participants completed at least one year of intercollegiate athletic eligibility at a two-year institution. Results can be broken down into three categories: (1) factors affecting female motivations to start participating in intercollegiate athletics; (2) factors affecting female motivations to continue to participate in intercollegiate athletics; and (3) factors affecting female motivations for starting and maintaining involvement in two-year intercollegiate athletics. Specific exploration of competition, holistic communities, and the “love of the game” phenomena from a female student-athlete perspective is explained. This study provides practices for administrators and coaches of women’s sports at two-year institutions that could help with recruiting and retaining female student-athletes.


two-year college, athletics, female student athletes, motivation, recruitment, retention

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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