2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games People's web site now available

The fast approaching London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have created much excitement and debate. The People’s Record web site has been developed to collect stories and experiences about the Olympics. It will create a record of the impact of Games on people across the nation. The People’s Record will be the first co-ordinated record by a host nation of the public’s reaction to the Games.

Creative Commons Licence - photographer Matsimpsk

The People’s Record web site is now available. Loughborough University Library and the Centre for Olympic Studies and Research have been collaborating on projects to be included on the People’s Record. Have a look at what individuals in the UK are saying about their sport, the Olympics and themselves.

Information is available about previous Loughborough University People’s Record projects and the current project.

Photo available thru Creative Commons Licence – photographer is matsimpsk

Football Crazy!

This summer sees the 19th FIFA World Cup Finals, to be held in South Africa. To mark the occasion, the Library is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the history of football’s most glittering tournament.

First held in Uruguay in 1930, the competition has been held every four years since 1950 and has gone on to become the most widely-viewed sporting occasion in the world, with the 2006 final between Italy and France boasting a staggering 715 million spectators globally.

On display within the library cabinets on Level 3 is a dazzling array of memorabilia, including  some of the balls used in the finals through the years. Among them is the official ball of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Jabulani, which has been developed in partnership with Adidas by experts at Loughborough’s Institute of Sports Technology. There are also a host of photographs and souvenir material from various finals, including a collection of material from England’s legendary 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final at Wembley in 1966.

As well as enjoying the spectacle on your TV, why not pop in this summer and take a tour down this fabulous football memory lane too!

The dream is over



David Beckhams dreams of starring in a fourth World Cup are in tatters after tearing his achilles heel. He had high hopes of becoming the first UK footballer to play in 4 World Cups.

The worst thing that can happen to any footballer is a serious injury and unfortuantely he has suffered the one that all players dread.  Achilles injuries are one of the worst that a footballer can suffer, although the operation is relatively simple, the rehabilitation is arduous, so David can expect to spend up to two months with the heel imbolised before starting a programme of intense physiotherapy. 

It is expected to be three months at the very earliest before he can run, and double that before he has a chance of playing again.  More likely he will be out for the remainder of 2010 which raises inevitable questions about him ever playing a competitive match again.

To find out more about sporting injuries go to our databases in the Sport & exercise sciences

Football (spending money like) Crazy!

With the World Cup in South Africa coming up, football is approaching the peak of its global popularity again. But all is not well behind the scenes of many domestic clubs.

Portsmouth, Hull City, Crystal Palace and Notts County are just four of the English league clubs that have publically (and dramatically) entered the financial doldrums this season, and there are likely to be others before the domestic season is out. Such is the perilous state of monetary affairs behind the scenes at many clubs, with sky-rocketing transfer fees, player wages, falling attendances and declining television and advertising revenues taking their toll and leaving staff and supporters in states of great anxiety about  their clubs’ future.

Many of our databases and electronic resources on Metalib examine this disturbing trend, including Fame, SPORTDiscus and Nexis UK, and it’s likely to remain a major talking point among economists and sports fans alike for some considerable time to come.

Whoever you support, best of luck for the rest of the season – on field and off!

The Roundest ball ever!



Friday 4th December saw the unveiling of the new World Cup football. Adidas and FIFA presented the official match ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, which has been developed in partnership with academics at Loughborough University. The “JABULANI”, which means “to celebrate” in isiZulu features eleven different colours representing the eleven players in each team, the eleven official languages of South Africa and the eleven South African communities.

Loughborough University were exclusive research partners for the Adidas “JABULANI”, after previously developing the 2008 European Championship and 2006 World Cup footballs for Adidas. Makers claim it is the roundest ball ever made thanks to eight special moulded panels. Adidas also claim that a newly-developed grip ‘n’ groove will provide an “exceptionally stable flight & perfect grip under all conditions”. The design of the ball should ensure that both strikers and goalkeepers are on an even footing.

Dr Andy Harland, from Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute, said:
“I am delighted that Loughborough University have again been asked by Adidas to assist them in the development of such a high profile product. It reflects the high esteem that Sports Technology at Loughborough is held in and allows our research to have real impact on the South Africa World Cup.

The Library provides a wealth of access to all sorts of areas in Sport, such as sport technology and designing sporting equipment, which can be accessed from the databases below, via MetaLib from Library homepage.

Web of Science

Cricket at Loughborough




‘On Wednesday an interesting game was played in Mr Tyler’s meadow, near the railway, between eleven of the Loughborough’s Gentlemen’s Club, and the Borough-hill Club.   At the close of the game, which was played first-rate, the number of runs stood as follows:  Loughborough 192, Borough Hill 92, majority, 100.‘  The Era (London, England), Sunday, August 13, 1843; Issue 255

Loughborough has a long cricket history.  Tyler’s meadow is believed to be a ground  near Allsops Lane, where Loughborough played an annual match against the All England Eleven and the United England Eleven from 1856 – 1871.

Loughborough has had, over time, up to 12 cricket grounds, such as the Park Road ground which was first used in 1913, and the College Ground, where Leicestershire came to play Galmorgan in 1929.  The first ever County Cricket match between Leicester and Nottingham was played in Loughborough in 1781, although the location of this early pitch is unknown.

Loughborough University Library has over 200 books on cricket, ranging from historic works such as W.G. Grace’s Cricket, published in 1891 and housed in the Special Collections alongside books on cricket by Douglas Jardine, C.B. Fry, Walter Hammond, Pelham Warner, Neville Cardus and Donald Bradman,  to modern coaching and training manuals.

You can also  find out more about cricket via sports databases available on through MetaLib, such as SPORTDiscus which can be searched for full-text articles on physical fitness, exercise, sports medicine, sports science, physical education, kinesiology, coaching, training etc.

If you would like to find out more about modern cricket at Loughborough, please see the links below.

Loughborough UCCE (University Cricket Centre of Excellence)

National Cricket Performance Centre

Loughborough School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Loughborough School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Loughborough Outwoods Cricket Club

Loughborough Greenfields Cricket Club 

Loughborough Carillon Cricket Club

Loughborough Town Cricket Club

Beijing 2008 and beyond…

Loughborough University - Beijing 2008 Logo

Tomorrow, in what will no doubt be an extravagant ceremony, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will open. There are a lot of websites out there with information about the Games, the key ones being ‘The Official website of the Olympic Movement‘, and the ‘Official website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games‘. The BBC has its own website, which includes a blog and commentary from its presenters and journalists. Loughborough University also its own webpages and blog to follow its 55 athletes (students past and present, as well as University based) at the Olympics and Paralympics.  It will be easy to catch up on who has won which event and how Team GB are doing.

The Olympics are much more than sport, however.  Did you know about the development and renovation of the Chinese water cube pool? Do you know what ‘image’ young Americans have of China – both as a tourist destination and as the host of the Games? How are the Games going to effect China economically? By searching some of our many databases in Metalib, such as  SPORTdiscus, you can find all this information and much more, such as ‘Environmental issues’, ‘The economic effects of the Games’ and ‘The drug wars’.

So, as we have a team competing in this event (unlike Euro 2008!) there are plenty of ways you can keep up-to-date with how many medals we have won during the event itself, or take a look at the Games from a more ‘academic’ perspective over many years to come.

From plimsolls to the latest tennis shoe

 Tennis shoes

Summer time. Wimbledon….

The humble tennis shoe has come a long way since the early plimsolls of the 19th Century. The plimsoll takes its name from Samuel Plimsoll, Liberal MP for Derby and coal merchant – famously known as the mariner’s safety campaigner, whose tireless campaign brought white plimsoll lines to be painted on ships, introduced in 1876, to indicate safe loading limits for shipping. 

Rubber soled shoes have been made since the early 1800s by companies such as the Goodyear Metallic Rubber Shoe Company in America and the New Liverpool Rubber Company in Liverpool, with the development of vulcanized rubber.  By 1884 both men and women were competing at Wimbledon, wearing  rubber-soled sports shoes.

The early 20th century saw the development of the modern sports shoe. Adolf “Adi” Dassler, a baker from Herzogenaurach, Germany, and whose father had been a cobbler, developed spiked sports shoes during the 1920s. Dassler’s sports equipment company later become known as Adidas, created the first shoe especially designed for tennis in 1931. Dassler’s brother Rudi later founded Puma in 1948.

Today, the design of modern sport shoes involves knowledge of the biomechanics of sport, breathable smart textiles and materials, designs that give the wearer good support and protection.  The University Library offers a broad range of information resource for sports and exercise science, product design and material science.

Sport and exercise science resources can be found on MetaLib  and the library currently subscribes to over 40 sport and exercise science e-journals such as Journal of Sport and Exercise Physiology and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise .   You may like to use SPORTDiscus to find sport equipment related articles [access using your Athens username and password].

Information on sports equipment design and materials can also be found using MetaLib . The Library currenly subscribes to over 240 material science related journals such as the Textile Research Journal, Polymer Engineering and Science   and Wear.  [Many databases and e-journals on MetaLib are athens hosted].

Other useful links:

History of Tennis



Espacenet (patents)



Tennis shoe history