From grace to grass: Kenyan soccer players' career transition and experiences in retirement

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • SDG 1
  • Abstract:

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the main factors that compel Kenyan soccer players to retire from active participation and problems that they experienced after retirement. It was predicted that the above factors would not significantly vary in relation to their age categories, levels of education and playing experience. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire from 130 retired soccer players (ages ranged from 21 to more than 60 years). Descriptive statistics (means, standard deviations and frequencies) were used to analyse the data; and One-way ANOVA was used to test the null hypotheses of the study. The main findings of the study indicated that majority of the retired players had retired voluntarily due to lack of attractive incentives (x̄ =3.48±1.50), diminishing physical ability (x̄ =2.76±1.44), lack of encouragement from significant others (x̄ =2.76±1.44) and de-selection or declined soccer performance (x̄ =2.75±2.75). They experienced problems of loss of identity (x̄ =2.97±1.51), desperation for employment (x̄ =2.43±1.44), depression (x̄ =2.38±1.46), idleness (x̄ =2.31±1.37) and alcoholism (x̄ =2.15±1.40). The ANOVA results show that problems experienced did not significantly (p≥0.05) differ based on their age categories and their playing experience with the exception of marital break-ups (x̄ =1.88±1.17; F4,129 =2.5, p < 0.04). As such, providing incentives, insurance and medical schemes, pre and post-retirement programmes to soccer stakeholders such as soccer clubs, government agencies and coaches may reverse the trends