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Throughout the world participation in sport and physical activity is considered to be one of the most important leisure time activities among adolescents (Weiss, 1996; Yamaguchi, 1996). However, the meaning it has may vary among adolescents from different nations due to various social, physical and cultural factors (Thomson, 2000). These variations often result from differing socialisation experiences, which also differ along lines of gender (Coakley, 1998). Nevertheless, due to its unarguable importance in the lives of youth, much research continues to be carried out on motivations for participation. The aim of this study was to determine youth sports and physical activity participation motives in a South Asian country, namely the Republic of Maldives. The particular areas explored within this broad theme were the importance and meanings placed on sport by the adolescents of the Maldives, their reasons for sports participation or non-participation.