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What sport suits you best?

Sports Psychologists at Loughborough University have helped create an online tool designed to inspire more physical activity in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

As the Games is fast approaching, anyone wanting to become more active can go to the NHS website and find out which sports best suits them.

It recommends five sports to try based on a series of questions and tests assessing personality, sporting preferences and reactions. Users are then guided to activities going on in their area, with an interactive map featuring links to over 35,000 sports centres and clubs. 

The tool was developed by NHS Choices in association with Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, with input from the British Olympic Association.

Drawing interest from around the world, the tool has attracted over 40,000 users since its launch and is in the top 25 of NHS Choices resources.

As a result of this widespread interest, the Loughborough University Research Team consisting of Dr David Fletcher, Mustafa Sarkar, Rachel Arnold and James Rumbold, were invited to present the tool at European Congress of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

The presentation outlined the tool, discussed its impact and drew upon the Olympic legacy. Since this presentation, academics and practitioners from various European nations have commented on the significance of the tool for inspiring greater sport participation and enhancing physical activity within local communities.

Most recently, the project was awarded the bronze medal for “Outstanding Sporting Project” at the prestigious Podium Awards in London.

Chartered Psychologist Dr David Fletcher, who led the Loughborough University Research Team, said: “This has been an exciting project to work on with the NHS. The London 2012 Olympic Games provides a wonderful opportunity for this country.  We are committed to supporting the delivery of sporting and health improvement that is the desired legacy of the Games for the population of the UK.”