2 | 47 A new life stage, a new sport activity? marked by major life events, such as moving out of the parental home, having children and retiring. These major life events, furthermore, often represent physical, psychological and social changes in a person’s living situation, altering the resources someone can draw to practise sport (Bartley et al., 1997; Heikkinen, 2010; Hirvensalo & Lintunen, 2011; Tiessen-Raaphorst et al., 2010). They are therefore expected to affect a person’s opportunities and constraints for participating in sport and stimulate decisions to start (or to stop) sport activities (Engel & Nagel, 2011; Kraaykamp et al., 2013; Tiessen-Raaphorst et al., 2010). These life events could thus provide a tangible explanation for the relationship so often found by researchers between sport activity and age or life stage (Breuer & Pawlowski, 2011). Previous research found that life events can indeed influence sport participation (Allender et al., 2008; Engberg et al., 2012; Hirvensalo & Lintunen, 2011). Yet, most studies on sport and the life course have focused only on one or two life events, and many have been based on a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data collected as part of a larger, broader research project. In the current study, we utilised an overarching life-course perspective to investigate if and how the occurrence of six major life events relate to changes in the likelihood of starting a sport activity. The six life events investigated are the following: starting a paid job, moving out to live on one’s own, starting to cohabit or getting married, birth of one’s first child, children leaving the parental home and retirement. We chose specifically to study starting a sport, because a better understanding of the role of these major life events on the likelihood of starting a new sport activity could be particularly beneficial in advancing progress toward “sport for all” policy objectives, such as stimulating more people to take part in sport activities and exercise regularly throughout the life course (NOC*NSF, 2017). To determine the relationship between the six life events and sport behaviour, we reconstructed very precise sport careers for a large sample of the Dutch population and studied the life events they experienced. People generally take part in multiple sport activities during their lifetime, sometimes at the same time and sometimes successively. They start sport at different points in time, and sometimes go back to a sport they had given up earlier. For this reason, a life-course perspective is essential to understand the influence of major life events on transitions in the sport career (Hirvensalo & Lintunen, 2011; Kraaykamp et al., 2013; Seefeldt et al., 2002). When someone considers starting a sport activity, he or she has many options to choose from. Therefore,