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Developing employability through sport and physical activity
Developing employability through sport and physical activity

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5 Competing in the knowledge – digital and information literacy

Digital literacy refers to using digital technologies effectively. It involves understanding and utilising digital tools, devices, and applications to access, create, and share information. In contrast, information literacy alludes to the ability to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information from various sources. Initially, you might wonder how this can be developed through your engagement in sport and it certainly is one of the less obviously relatable skills within the OU Employability Framework. Nevertheless, as you work through this section, you will uncover opportunities to utilise this skill within sport and physical activity.

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Figure 7 Performance analytics superimposed over athlete

Have you got experience of any of the following?

  • Online research and data analysis – for researching and analysing data, exploring topics online, such as athlete profiles, historical events, or statistical trends.
  • Sports analytics – collecting and analysing data to gain insights and make informed decisions. Perhaps addressing statistical concepts and analysis techniques, such as player performance metrics, game strategies, or injury prevention.
  • Use of sport, fitness or health related apps – such as My Fitness Pal, Strava, Map My Run.
  • Online collaboration and communication – engaging in sports communities, forums or social media groups where you discuss and share opinions.
  • Content creation – creating blog posts, videos, social media updates for your club.
  • Sports gaming – many sports-related video games and simulations require individuals to navigate digital environments, analyse virtual data, and make strategic decisions.

The final bullet point might seem a stretch, but in 2022 Will Still, then 30, emerged as the youngest manager among Europe’s major football leagues, attributing his path into management to the influential role played by the video game Football Manager (Matthews, 2023).

Activity 5 Navigating the digital landscape

Timing: Allow approximately 30 minutes

This activity is broken down into stages.

  1. Select a sport of interest such as gymnastics, football, cricket, or any other you’re passionate about.
  2. Find reputable online sources that provide sports statistics and data. Examples include official sports league websites, sports analytics platforms, or sports-focused websites that offer reliable data.
  3. Gather some data related to the sport you selected. You might choose player statistics, team performance metrics, historical records, match results – it’s entirely up to you what you focus on.
  4. Share your findings with others who have an interest in sports, such as friends, teammates, coaches, or online sports communities. You could encourage discussions, debates, and feedback to further enhance your understanding and ability to articulate your insights.


By engaging in this activity, you will develop digital skills such as data collection, organisation, analysis, and presentation. You will also improve your information literacy skills by critically evaluating data sources, interpreting findings, and effectively communicating complex information. Moreover, it allows you to combine your passion for sports with digital and information literacy, making the learning process more engaging and meaningful.

From an employability perspective, technology is rapidly advancing and it has become an integral part of almost every industry. Digital and information literacy skills enable individuals to adapt to new technologies and tools effectively. It also empowers individuals to leverage technology, manage information, communicate effectively, think critically, and adapt to the evolving digital landscape.