Ben is Professor in Sports Performance Education. He originally established Sport and Fitness qualifications at the Open University in 2007 having previously lectured at Portsmouth and Southampton Solent Universities. He originally worked in sport for a national governing body, the RYA, for 8 years as National Coach in windsurfing including attending the Seoul and Barcelona Olympic Games. His coaching background and detailed knowledge of online learning has helped guide the development of the subject area at the OU including the approach to work-related learning.
His academic research originally focused on sport policy and in particular the development of elite sport systems in different countries. More recently he has supported coach CPD workshops and free online learning resources Exploring sport coaching and psychology and Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness. He is currently working on two further online learning projects focusing on i) coach developers and ii) learning from athlete and coach burnout. He sits on the Advisory board for the Applied Coaching Research Journal.
A further aspect of his roles has been acting as a media fellow for the University in developing links between academics and media output. He has been an academic consultant with the BBC Olympic Dreams programmes and Channel 4's Chasing Perfection. He has also been interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today programme, numerous regional programmes and contributed to the BBC Sport website.
In 2014 he pulled together existing research and the patterns of 25 sporting autobiographies into a book, Podium: What shapes a sporting champion? published by Bloomsbury - see here.