The Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (2021)
Read the new content published throughout the Olympics and Paralympics, offering an insight into what it's like competing at the highest level in sport.
Yasmin Reeve is one of this year’s Sport and Fitness Student Voice Champions at The Open University. She’ll be tuning into the Tokyo Paralympics, but with mixed feelings, as she explains.Read now ❯Wheelchair basketball player Yasmin on coaching, classification and the cost of disability sport
The Games of the Tokyo Olympics have been played in empty stadiums and venues, without fans and family members. Jessica Pinchbeck looks at the importance of Adam Peaty's family to his success.Read now ❯Adam Peaty: the family behind the athlete
Arguably, it has been a longer, and more challenging, road to Tokyo 2020 than any other Olympic Games in recent times. So how were the athletes and their support teams, able to pick up themselves up following the disappointment of the cancelled games last year and prepare for the rescheduled event? In this article, Dr Nichola Kentzer considers resilience as a key factor in supporting this disrupted athletic journey.Read now ❯Resilience: The magic ingredient for Olympians?
The Olympic and Paralympic games show us that there is a sport for everyone. Dr Jane Dorrian looks at the ways you can inspire your child to be a future star.Read now ❯How to help your child become a future Olympian
You don’t have to have attended private school to be a member of the British Olympic team for Tokyo 2020 – but it may have helped, particularly for some Olympic events. Dr Jim Lusted, Lecturer in Sport & Fitness, explores the role that educational background can have in athletes reaching the highest levels of Olympic sports like rowing, hockey and archery.Read now ❯How does educational background shape Olympic success?
Copyright: Photo 103706694 © Stuartan | Dreamstime.com
Olympics 2021: The story of how a small Shropshire town influenced the modern Olympic movement
Whilst this year’s Olympic Games will almost certainly suffer from COVID-19 constraints, the event remains the largest sporting spectacle in the world. Over time the Games have evolved from their modest beginnings into something incomparably grand. In this article, Steph Doehler discusses how a rural English town has closer links than most to the modern Olympics.Read now ❯Olympics 2021: The story of how a small Shropshire town influenced the modern Olympic movement
The life of an Olympic or Paralympic athlete is characterised by highly planned and structured 4-year cycles designed to lead to peak performance in Olympic/Paralympic year, but what happens when that cycle unexpectedly stretches to 5 years and is threaded with uncertainty?Read now ❯Tokyo 2020 in 2021: Do the best things come to those who wait?
Simon Rea previews the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, looking at the new sports featuring, plus who are Team GB's best chances of winning medals.Read now ❯What can we expect at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games?
Game(s). Set. Match
Coach an athlete to Olympic or Paralympic success in our Medal Quest game, or discover your perfect sport in our Olympisize Me interactive.
Can you help a talented child athlete make it all the way to the Olympic finals based on the choices you make for them at key stages in their development? Try our game and find out.Take part nowMedal Quest: Can you guide a promising young athlete to championship success?
Level: 1 Introductory
Have you ever wondered which sport you're most suited to? Play this interactive game to find out if you’ve got what it takes physically, psychologically and socially to make it to the podium at the Olympics and Paralympics.Take part nowOlympisize Me
Level: 1 Introductory
Insights from the experts
How does a 'good athlete' train to become the best in their sport and take to the podium time and time again? These 'serial champions' outline their determination and mindset in our videos.
Discover the ancient Olympics
What are the similarities and differences between our modern Games and the Ancient Olympics? These rescources explore...
This free course, The Ancient Olympics: Bridging past and present, highlights the similarities and differences between our modern Games and the Ancient Olympics and explores why today, as we prepare for future Olympics, we still look back at the Classical world for meaning and inspiration.Learn more ❯The Ancient Olympics: Bridging past and present
Gender: A level playing field?
What if Eliod Kipchoge was a woman? How are sportswomen portrayed in the media? What about motherhood, what are the challenges in returning to sport or starting up a new sport? Find out with the content below.
Ever thought about sports and wondered, but what about for a woman? These articles cover specific topics concerning women in sport, considering questions such as, what if Eliod Kipchoge was a woman? Are women leaders the key to growing women’s sport? What about motherhood, what are the challenges in returning to sport or starting up a new sport?Read now ❯Women in sport
The mass media (e.g. radio, TV, internet) has become one of the most powerful institutional influences in society. This free course, Sporting women in the media, explores whether gendered inequalities exist in sport by evaluating the media coverage. The media can be highly influential in shaping perceptions about gender in sport and headlines indicative of differences in how male and female athletes are regarded in the media. In the course you’ll examine messages that the media send us about gender in sport, their potential impact and how gender ideologies can be challenged.Learn more ❯Sporting women in the media
Jessica Pinchbeck, a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Fitness at The Open University, reflects on her sporting heroes and charts the success of female sportswomen.Read now ❯Past and present: A 50-year celebration of British Sportswomen
Game-changing FREE courses
We've put together 12 of our top FREE courses - perfect if you're a budding athlete, a coach or mentor, psychologist, or if you just want to find out more about sport and fitness
This free course, Exploring sport coaching and psychology, investigates how scientific and management ideas contribute to success while also taking you on a journey through unique sporting case studies and insights that will change how you view and study sport. You will consider how the mind, the body, the environment and training techniques all contribute to optimum fitness.Learn more ❯Exploring sport coaching and psychology
Are you responsible for supporting sport and physical activity coaches to become inspirational and excellent in their practice? This course is designed for coach developers, educators, mentors and tutors who support coaches to improve. You will explore how people learn, what are the skills and qualities of an effective coach of coaches, as well appreciate how to ask powerful questions and listen actively. You will consider the processes associated with resolving difficult situations where differences of opinion arise, how to measure success and provide constructive feedback. By the end of this course you should feel more confident in your ability to support colleagues and help them to become even better at what they do.Learn more ❯Coaching others to coach
This free course, Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness, explores the personal skills that underpin so much work in sport and gyms. We often hear employers refer to the importance of these interpersonal relationships or ‘soft skills’ in sport and fitness, and in this unique course you’ll build valuable insights into understanding workplace communication, motivation and self-awareness and how this can increase your effectiveness and enhance how you work with others. All this is made possible by some unique film footage of coaches, trainers and instructors at work combined with engaging learning activities that accompany these case studies to benefit both your career and those you work with.Learn more ❯Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Each year thousands of pounds are spent on medications to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. These medications often have negative side effects. Exercise is an alternative treatment that is low cost and has few side effects. In this free course, Exercise and mental health, we will look at the links between exercise and improved mental health and psychological well-being. This will include consideration of the role of exercise in combating stress, anxiety and depression, and in enhancing mood.Learn more ❯Exercise and mental health
This free course, The science behind wheeled sports, focuses on cycling and wheelchair racing: what we might collectively call wheeled sports. The Scientific concepts such as force, acceleration and speed are also useful for understanding these sports. However, cycling and wheelchair racing differ from other sports in that technology more obviously plays an important role.Please note: This course contains two Flash activities which are no longer playable. These are being updated. This course can still be studied, but you may like to postpone your study for now if you would rather have the full experience.Learn more ❯The science behind wheeled sports
Have you ever experienced a sport injury? Have you ever thought there could be a psychological dimension to sport injuries, as well as a physical one? Sport injury is relatively common among sport and exercise participants, and while the physical impact of injury is often easy to recognise, the psychological impact is less obvious. In this free course, Exploring the psychological aspects of sport injury, you will examine the relationship between injury and psychological factors. You will look at the link between injury and psychology at two distinct points – before an injury has occurred and then following an injury. First, you will consider the psychological factors that may increase the likelihood of sustaining a sport injury (pre-injury), and then you will consider psychological reactions to the incidence of a sport injury (post-injury). The course will also allow you to examine how sport and exercise psychology can be used both to help minimise the risk of injury and to help people cope better with sport injury rehabilitation. The video below featuring OU student and Olympic Gold Medallist Helen Richardson-Walsh explains more.Learn more ❯Exploring the psychological aspects of sport injury
What should we eat before and after exercise? This free course, Eating to win: activity, diet and weight control, examines the importance of nutrition in physical activity, sport and weight management. The role that physical activity has alongside nutrition in controlling body weight will be discussed, as will considerations for pre-exercise and post-exercise nutrition and hydration.Learn more ❯Eating to win: activity, diet and weight control
Aerobic fitness is integral to successful sports performance and to maintaining good health. But what sort of exercise should you be doing to develop your aerobic fitness? This free course, Improving aerobic fitness, will help you to answer this question by introducing you to principles of aerobic exercise prescription.Learn more ❯Improving aerobic fitness
This free course, A question of ethics: right or wrong?, discusses ethical and professional principles in sport and fitness environments. Working closely with individuals and developing relationships is an inherent and often satisfying part of the work of a sports coach or exercise instructor. However, it can bring about ethical and professional challenges and can sometimes place practitioners in a difficult or uncomfortable position, e.g. a confidence shared and/or personal dilemmas. The course considers good practice and certain ethical issues, in particular the relationship between the coach/instructor and individuals with a specific focus on power relationships. We also explore the responsibility of the practitioner to help develop character.Learn more ❯A question of ethics: right or wrong?
The ability to recover quickly from an intensive training session or match can be extremely advantageous to sports performers. Sport and fitness participants are increasingly using strategies such as ice baths and compression clothing to enhance their recovery from intensive exercise, but how effective are these strategies? Do they really speed up the recovery process? To answer questions such as these this free course ‘Recovery strategies in sport and exercise’ investigates the science behind recovery exploring the physiological processes involved in training and recovery and the potential role of recovery strategies.Learn more ❯Recovery strategies in sport and exercise
This free course, Physical activity: a family affair, aims to explore the effects that the family has on the amount and nature of physical activity a child participates in. The beliefs and behaviours of the family environment are the key psycho-social factors we investigate here.Learn more ❯Physical activity: a family affair
The athlete’s journey through sport can be characterised by several transitions and periods of change. This course is designed to help you understand that journey, whether in reference to a professional or recreational athlete, and the nature of support they may need at different times. The course also provides practical guidance, whether you support athletes as a coach or parent or whether you are an athlete yourself, and draws on a wealth of case study and audio-visual material to bring the athlete’s journey to life.Learn more ❯The athlete’s journey: transitions through sport