Does your sports membership say "senior" even though you still have a young persons railcard? Or do you want to take up a sport as a veteran? We will explain all.

senior pilates gym

Do you want to continue doing sport as an adult? Or are you getting back into it after a long or short break? Good news, here we are talking about sport for seniors. And above all, we will be finding out from what age you are considered a senior.

So, senior from the point of view of federations, i.e from the age of 18, or veteran who wants to continue or resume a physical activity?

We will explain the different definitions and, more importantly, the options available to you.

nordic walking

Veterans and seniors, differences and definitions

So we start with some information that is not necessarily music to your ears: in sport, you become a senior very early! How early? Let's take a look:

age 23 in athletics and cycling, 19 in handball, rugby and football, 20 in gymnastics and basketball, 21 in swimming… And 26 in skydiving (they give you a little more slack).

In short, if you're wondering and reading this article, you're probably already in the senior category.

It just goes to show that in sports, becoming a senior hurts your pride long before it hurts your back or knees...

And what about in everyday terms? It is widely agreed, in the rest of your activities, that you generally enter the senior category from the age of 50.~Of course, it is not like you are asked to perform sliding tackles or form a ruck in everyday life, but there is still a big difference between your membership card and your bus pass.

Moreover, when you become a senior in your everyday activities, you have already been a veteran for quite some years in your sport: between 35 and 50 years depending on the sport.

Yet again, the age limits are low in sport. But you must admit that veteran sounds better. It evokes the years of practice that allow you to rely on experience, tactics and the mind, rather than on explosive power or top speed.

And your sports practice in all this? We're getting there.

Continue as a veteran or resume as a senior? The most important thing is to save your knees.

Now that you have had time to prepare yourself for the information that awaits you on your membership card, let's talk about your sport.

Let's start with the first case: you are a senior, in sports terms.

If you want to continue doing sport into adulthood, there are plenty of options available to you. Ideally, you will still be in contact with your club or your partners. The advantage being that you can continue or resume your sport in a setting and/or with people you already know.

Here, the challenge is to succeed in slotting your sports practice into a schedule that may be a little more full than back when you used to be driven to your training sessions. But the benefit also lies in doing sport with friends and combining your sports life and social life.

And if you are no longer in contact with your old club, you are free to find your new home team:

          -      Between the various clubs, gyms and fitness centres out there, you are sure to find a place and an activity to suit your schedule.

          -     Find your new team online! From indoor football to cross training, more and more sports are organised in communities on social networks. This is an opportunity to find an atmosphere that suits you, to organise your timetable easily and once again enjoy the friendliness and team spirit of doing a sport as part of a club.

senior futsal

Second case: you are a senior, in every sense.

If you are looking at doing a sports activity as a veteran, the goal is to adapt your sport to suit your abilities and your fitness. Rather than diving for every ball or playing on concrete in full sun (outdoor courts, we're looking at you), the challenge is to focus on your well-being rather than competition.

The status of veteran does indeed have some advantages, starting with giving you enjoyment and "me time" through sport.


Are you looking for ideas of what sport to do as a senior? Gym, yoga, weight training, combat sports: read on for more tips!

What sports do you do as an adult?

Share your tips and experiences!


Decathlon writer photo


DECATHLON team writer

Pitch addict, court enthusiast, pool aficionado and general sports fanatic.