What makes an elite athlete?

Students were fortunate to have Ben Oakley in school to speak at assembly a few weeks ago about what makes an elite athlete. Ben is currently a leading lecturer with the Open University and he has established sport and fitness qualifications for them, as well as working as an academic consultant alongside the BBC for sporting documentaries. He has had a wealth of experience in elite sport, competing himself in windsurfing and also being head windsurfing coach for the Seoul and Barcelona Olympics. He has been working on a book called Podium, which looks at around 25 elite athletes’ autobiographies and their experience and path to the top. He talked to us about some of the myths that surround successful athletes and particular traits they all have which have helped them reach the top of their profession. If you would like to read more about his findings, his book will be published on 19 June and you can already access part of the book via Amazon.

By  Sonia Cartwright, Head of Sport



Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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