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Mr Simon Rea

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Professional biography

I am a Senior Lecturer on the Sport and Fitness award at the Open University.  I have worked full time as an academic contributing to the development of modules in the BSc (Hons) degree since June 2007. I have written content on many areas of sports science including sports nutrition, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, exercise physiology, sport psychology (motivation, leadership and team dynamics) and reflective practice.

Since 2019 I have worked as an Open Media Fellow for WELS Faculty supporting the development of content for BBC/OU co-productions and for the OpenLearn website.

I have also been involved in authoring/co-authoring 16 textbooks related to sports science. In 2023 the second edition of my best-selling book Sports Science: A complete introduction was published by John Murray Press as part of the 'Teach Yourself' series.  In 2019 I self-published Careers in Sports Science which is related to my main research area.  I have co-authored a book titled Optimising female athletic performance for Routledge due to be published in August 2024.  

I have been involved in several media programmes, including acting as nominated academic on Five surprisingly simple ways to optimise your diet - BBC Ideas and providing the voiceover for the film. I also contributed to an episode of Women's Sport Matters for the Sports Desk on BBC 5 Live and BBC Sounds. I have also written content for OU Connect about the impact of foods on the microbiome and a 'Menstruation myths' quiz.

My research area is around work-based skills, which work based skills are most important, and how they can be developed.

Please click on the tabs above to find out more about my qualifications, teaching, research and publications.

Research interests

My research interests lie within applied sport science with a focus on employability in sports science-related occupations. I have also been involved in researching female athletic performance and have produced resources to support female athletes and their coaches at all stages of their lives.

Some of the articles I have written for OpenLearn can be found here:

Key Publications

Rea, Simon (2023). Sports Science - A Complete Introduction (Second Edition). London, John Murray Press. 

Rea, Simon (2019). Careers in Sports Science. Oxford, Adored Publishing.
Future publication
Pinchbeck, J., Lingam-Willgoss, C., and Rea, S. (2024) Optimising Female Athletic Performance. Abingdon, Routledge.


Teaching interests

My main teaching interests are in sport nutrition, exercise physiology, strength and conditioning and work-based learning.

I have chaired production of module E119 Working and learning in sport and fitness and am currently reserve chair.

I have authored a Badged Open Course titled Supporting Female Athletic Performance for OpenLearn available at:


Impact and engagement

I have worked on BBC programmes as Academic Consultant

  • Icons: The Greatest Person of the Twentieth Century (2019)
  • Fever Pitch: Rise of the Premier League (2021)
  • BBC Bitesize - Healthcare Careers  (2022) 
  • BBC Ideas - Five surprisingly simple ways to optimise your diet (2024)


As Open Media Fellow I have been involved in the production process for several BBC/OU co-productions including:

  • Don't exclude me (2021)
  • Paddy McGuinness: My autistic family (2021)
  • Abused by our sports coach (2021)
  • Black and British (2022)
  • Freeze: Skating on the edge (2022)
  • Inside our autistic minds (2023)
  • Special School Series 2 (2023)
  • Drugs Map of Britain Series 2 (2024)
  • Morning Live Films (2024)

BBC Ideas


Careers in Sports Science (2019-09-06)
Rea, Simon
Publisher : Adored Publishing | Published : United Kingdom

Sports Science: A Complete Introduction (2015-12-03)
Rea, Simon
Teach Yourself
ISBN : 9781473614895 | Publisher : John Murray Learning | Published : London

Exploring Sport and Fitness: Work-based Practice (2009-07-17)
Heaney, Caroline; Oakley, Ben and Rea, Simon eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-49155-6 | Publisher : Routledge/The Open University | Published : Abingdon