Introduction and guidance
This free badged course, Supporting female performance in sport and fitness, lasts 24 hours with eight sessions. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete a further study session. The eight sessions are linked to ensure a logical flow through the course. They are:
- Mind the gap: gender differences in sport science research and its impact on female athletes
- Demystifying the menstrual cycle
- Hormonal contraception: a solution or new challenges?
- Pelvic floor muscles: out of sight and often overlooked
- Breast health and choosing the correct breast support
- Injuries and the female athlete
- Low energy intake and missed periods: the risks
- Effective support of female athletes
Each session should take you around 3 hours. There are a number of activities throughout the course where you are asked to note down your response. A text box is provided for you to do this, however if you would prefer to record your answers in another way that is fine.
At the end of each session there is also a quiz to help you check your understanding. And, if you want to receive a formal statement of participation, at the end of Sessions 4 and 8 there is a quiz which you need to pass.
Watch the introductory video presented by one of the co-authors, Simon Rea, which explains what the course includes, who it is relevant to and what you will get out of studying it.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
- understand the physiological and psychological differences between men and women and between individual women
- identify female-specific issues that need to be considered to promote the health, fitness, and wellbeing of female athletes
- recognise the gender gap in research between males and females and its impact on female health and performance.
A note on terminology
The content in this course applies to anyone who identifies as female but is mainly focused on those people who have female genitals, have gone through puberty as a female and have (or had) a menstrual cycle.
Moving around the course
In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each week, you will find a link to the next week. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Full course description’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course.
It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.
The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.