• What can maths tell us about the best way to rig a rowing eight? Does a cox help or hinder a racing boat? How does the speed of a kayak or a canoe depend on the number of paddlers? And what if you fall in – can maths tell us anything about the best way to swim? This video from Professor John Barrow's Maths of Sport lecture series is aimed at a general audience.

  • This Key Stage 1 video maths challenge from BBC Two Learning Zone features Olympic sculler Anna Watkins. The challenge is to work out how many oars a four person crew need if they have two each.

  • This Key Stage 2 video maths challenge from BBC Two Learning Zone features Olympic sculler Anna Watkins. The challenge is to estimate the rowers’ stroke rate from watching 20 seconds of a race.

  • This Key Stage 3 video maths challenge from BBC Two Learning Zone takes place at Bisham Abbey and features Olympic sculler Anna Watkins. The challenge is to measure how the rowing crew's stroke rate changes over the training session, find the average, and decide whether the crew improved over the session or not.

  • Is the conventional pattern of rowing blades in a racing four or eight - alternately right-left, right-left as you go from one end of the boat to the other - the best arrangement? John Barrow investigates the appeal of alternative rowing rigs to minimise boat wiggle in this article aimed at general readers and older students.

  • 8 speed/time problems from Olympic athletics, rowing and cycling aimed at GCSE students (Key Stage 4). This activity encourages investigation and research for some parts of the questions, and gives students opportunities to construct and justify approximations and estimates.

  • For this article Plus, our free online maths magazine, interviewed leading researchers in sports technology and engineering to learn more about their work with Olympic and Paralympic athletes in a range of sports. Improvements to equipment or clothing may save only a few hundredths of a second, but that can mean the difference between a silver or gold medal.

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