Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Shannon L. Sibbald


Hockey Fans in Training (Hockey FIT) is a gender-sensitized weight loss and healthy lifestyle program for overweight and obese male hockey fans, consisting of a 12-week active phase followed by a 40-week maintenance phase. Following program completion, interviews and focus groups were conducted to explore the social support given and received by the men involved in Hockey FIT. A social cognitive model was used to illustrate how social support arising from group cohesiveness, friendly competition, family, and peers impacted self-esteem (characterized by accepting strengths, gaining a sense of belonging, and gaining a sense of accomplishment), which in turn produced positive health outcomes (heightened awareness, physical improvements, and healthy eating habits). This program is a successful gender-sensitized, hockey-based weight loss and healthy lifestyle program, the first of its kind in Canada. It provides insight into the multiple sources of social support available to men in sports-based intervention programs.