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Professor of Sports Performance Education, The Open University

Ben is Professor of Sports Performance Education. He originally established Sport and Fitness qualifications at the Open University in 2006 having previously been an Olympic Coach in windsurfing at the Seoul and Barcelona Games. His coaching background has helped inform the development of the subject area at the OU whilst his academic writing originally focused on sport policy and in particular the development of elite sport systems in different countries.

A further aspect of his work has been acting as a media fellow for the University in developing links between academics and media output. His own experience of such activity has been the development of the Open University's Olympisize Me! interactive online tool which achieves considerable online visibility.

He has acted as academic consultant with the BBC Olympic Dreams programmes. This stimulated radio interviews including BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Radio Scotland, numerous regional programmes and online articles for the BBC Sport website.

In 2014 he pulled together this work, existing research and the patterns of multiple sporting autobiographies into a book -Podium: What shapes a sporting champion? published by Bloomsbury. More recently he has published free online badged courses on the OpenLearn platform covering diverse topics including coaching, psychology, communication and working relationship in sport.


  • –present
    Head of Childhood, Youth and Sport, The Open University
  • 2001–2006
    Principal Lecturer, University of Portsmouth
  • 1995–2001
    Lecturer, Southampton Solent University
  • 1987–1995
    National Coach, Royal Yachting Association


  • 1998 
    Nottingham Trent, MA Research
  • 1985 
    Cambridge University, BEd