Friday, 20 December 2013

Maths in Sport - Introduction

I love sport. So do many millions of people around the world. I love watching it. I love playing it. I love the colour, the excitement, the atmosphere. I'm not that good at any particular sport, although I have had my moments - age swimming champion at Nepean High School 1976-78, matchplay champion at Mollymook Golf Club in 2001 - but I would not do very well if I had to rely on my sporting achievements to make a living.

But what about those who do? What about elite sportspeople? How do they approach their "game"? What do they need to think about? And how does maths come into their planning and thinking?

I decided to see if I could contact a few elite athletes around the world and ask them a few questions about how maths fits into their sport. I started sending out requests a few weeks ago and got several refusals (I understand that Roger might be a bit busy preparing for the Australian Open) and many more no-replies (perhaps the BMC general website is not the best way to locate Cadel) but undeterred I have persevered.

Throughout January I will be able to bring you the replies to a series of 10 questions from many world champion and elite athletes who have agreed to accept my request.

So far, the people who have agreed to answer the 10 questions include:

Michael Clarke - captain of the Australian cricket team

Adam Scott - world #2 golfer

Gregor Schlierenzauer  - world champion ski jumper

David Florence - world champion C1 and C2 canoe slalom

Mathew Belcher - world champion sailor in 470 class and World Sailor of the Year 2013

Etienne Daille - world champion K1 kayak slalom

Ondrej Synek - world champion single sculler

Jonathan Brownlee - international triathlete

John Brenkus - ESPN sports science presenter

Ellie Cole - paralympic swimming champion

Marcel Hirscher - world #1 downhill skier

Cesar Cielo - world #1 50m freestyle swimmer

Lauren Jackson - three times WNBA player of the year

Libby Trickett - Australian swimming legend and former world champion in freestyle and butterfly

Caroline Buchanan - 2 x world champion mountain biker and ranked #1 in the world for BMX 

I still hold out hope for the many other athletes who have not yet responded to my initial contact so the list of interviewees may expand (there's still time Cadel!) so stay tuned - January is going to be a great month to check out Authentic Inquiry Maths and to learn all about Maths in Sports.

This is what January means to many Australians  
- it's where I hope to be sending my posts from.