Everything to play for

17th September 2004 at 01:00
MISSION: SPORT WEBSITE. pound;2 per person from Emma Compson at Loughborough College. Tel: 01509 515406

Email: compsone@loucoll.ac.uk www.missionsport.loucoll.ac.uk

Howard Todd looks at a subscription website that will improve pupils' sporting prowess

Mission: Sport, the new subscription website from Loughborough College and their partners LLR Active Sports, combines a study resource that introduces key stage 3 pupils to some of the theoretical components of GCSE with practical advice on how to develop individual sporting interests.

The site is split into five main activity areas set out in the form of missions where students must download their choice of subject. The activities are interactive, featuring animated graphics, games and multi-choice questions. Each mission ends with a quiz to check knowledge and understanding, and rewards pupils with a personal achievement certificate.

The strength of e-learning is brought to the fore with the opportunity to use interactive materials. In this respect, Mission: Sport scores highly through a personal training diary. Theoretical knowledge can be applied as it relates to individual circumstances. Although the information cannot be a substitute for a supportive parent or good coach, it is useful in so far as it leads to a better understanding of what is required to improve sporting success and how to take responsibility for progress.

In addition to Mission One, which is about encouraging people to take up sport, there are four other missions that influence sporting success: looking after your body; fitness and training; nutrition; and sports psychology. Sensibly, Mission One asks the user to identify fitness components (strength, speed, endurance, power) most important to their sport. Other sections deal with how to improve.

In the section on looking after your body there is information on the effect of exercise on bones, muscles, heart and lungs, and some advice for asthma sufferers.

There's the usual guidance on fitness training and the need for warm-ups and cooling down, as well as the importance of eating the right foods and taking the necessary rest. Finally, there are helpful suggestions for improving motivation, confidence, self-control and concentration.

All pupils will benefit from this website and at pound;2 a member it is good value for money.

It will be particularly useful for younger secondary pupils who are starting to compete seriously for the first time. In addition, it will be useful for teachers and coaches who wish to help pupils at the lower end of a gifted and talented programme. However, performers already working at a high level will discover nothing new. A long list of web links is useful for further research.

Howard Todd is an education consultant and former headteacher


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