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Tech Chairs

The Sports Technology Podcast


Technology is changing each aspect of every sport we all love … and Tech Chairs explains how.

Tech Chairs is a new sports podcast which is presented by broadcaster, John Inverdale and sports tech entrepreneur, Rebecca Hopkins. Each week, John and Rebecca are given insider insights by tech experts, sports entrepreneurs, elite coaches, industry leaders and champion athletes.

If you’ve ever wanted to know why the handlebars of bikes got so small? How Hawkeye was invented? Which football team had the first club TV channel? Or why Ali, Jordan, Messi or Ronaldo might not be sports biggest influencers…tune into Tech Chairs.

From the evolution of trainers to how DNA impacts your injuries, Tech Chairs is a must listen for sports fans, sports executives and the ‘sports tech curious’.

Series One

Episode One: How Tech Snuck Up on Sport (Part One)

Tech Chairs is a new podcast exploring the many ways technology drives sport. In the first episode, sports presenter, John Inverdale and sports tech entrepreneur, Rebecca Hopkins, take a sprint through sports tech’s history. Joining them are experts, Andy Harland (Loughborough University), Naomi Stenhouse (The English institute of Sport) and Andy Miah (Salford University), who explain how we arrived at many of the innovations we have today. From the evolution of trainers to why Lycra is the greatest sports tech invention of all time – sit down, tune in, find out.

Episode Two: How Tech Snuck Up on Sport (Part Two)

This is part two of our brief history of the relationship between sport and technology. In this show we look at the tech-led revolution of the past two decades, as data, new realities and wearable tech shapes how we train, view and engage with the sports we love. Rebecca and John talk to experts Andy Harland (Loughborough University), Naomi Stenhouse (The English institute of Sport), Andy Miah (Salford University) and Ben Langdown (The Open University), who guide us through these recent changes. And if you thought Mohammed Ali, Michael Jordan or Lionel Messi was sports’ GOAT (greatest of all time) you’ll want to hear why we might disagree.

Episode Three: How Hawkeye Happened

For many, Hawkeye IS sports technology and this edition of Tech Chairs, John and Rebecca are joined by ‘The Godfather of Sports Technology’, Paul Hawkins. Paul shares his story, from how he developed and marketed Hawkeye, to how it has become the phenomenon that is now an integral part of how we watch sports today. Paul also nominates his sports tech GOAT (greatest of all time) – but which will he choose? We guarantee his choice will surprise you. Listen now and find out.

The Godfather of Sports Technology Paul Hawkins founder Hawk-Eye Innovations
Andrew Steele Elite athlete turned Sports Tech Entrepreneur
Episode Four: Athlete Genetic Mapping with Andrew Steele

This episode of Tech Chairs takes us into the DNA of elite athletes – literally! Rebecca and John hear Andy Steele’s story. Andy was an Olympic athlete who wanted to know why he could run fast but kept getting injured. A random test took his career – and how elite stars train – in a whole new direction courtesy of DNA-fit. So, is being a world-beater all in the genes? This week’s Tech Chairs reveals all.

Episode Five: From the Track to the High Street: How Sports Apparel Became Big Business

Say ‘sports technology’ to most people and they think ‘wearables’ but how did we get to this point – and what is that market worth? John and Rebecca talking through this multi-billion-dollar market with two experts with vastly different backgrounds. Phelan Hill is an Olympic rower turned market analyst with Nielsen Sports, and Sandra Halliday is a leading fashion industry commentator and UK Editor in Chief of

Stop your fitness tracker, slip off your trainers, pop in your ear buds and listen to this edition of Tech Chairs.

Episode Six: Sports Broadcast – When Did One Screen Stop Being Enough?

Today there are countless ways and formats for watching sport – but how did this happen? Rebecca and John talk to two of the men directly responsible. Paul Davies is a leading figure from TV and determines Wimbledon’s annual broadcast, while Dave Roberts founded football’s very first club TV channel- but can you guess which one? The team talk everything about sports tech in sports broadcast, from how audiences watch sport in different countries, the advent of colour TV and… VAR!

Episode Seven: F1 –Driving to Survive The Technology?

Widely regarded as the most tech-forward of all popular sports, F1 has technology running through its DNA. This time, John and Rebecca are joined by Simon Taylor, a man who for 50 years has scrutinized every car, driver, race and team in motorsport. Simon reveals the most pivotal points in how F1 has become the sport we know today – and what we might be seeing tomorrow. If you’ve ever wondered how much work the driver is really doing, this edition of Tech Chairs is for you.

Simon Taylor, motor sports journalist F1 most tech-forward of all popular sports
Sir Ben Ainslie CBE Britain’s greatest ever competitive sailor with five Olympic medals
Episode Eight When Did Sailing Become ‘F1 On Sea’?

Sir Ben Ainslie, is more than Britain’s greatest ever competitive sailor. His trophy cabinet might be huge but his thirst for technology-driven success is boundless. Ben talks Rebecca and John through his career through the lens of technology, from his early days on the Solent to fighting for The Americas Cup. Some tech happens by design, some is by accident – Ben shares which shaped one of sailing’s greatest breakthroughs. Tune in to find out.

Episode Nine: So Why Are Your Bikes’ Handlebars 42”?

No sport, competitively or recreationally, has changed more in the past 30 years than cycling. At the heart of this has been an Olympic champion, technical wizard, entrepreneur and campaigner. Chris Boardman is Rebecca and John’s guest on this episode of Tech Chairs and shares how much drive, imagination and ignorance (!) is vital to when looking to create a winning team. Once you’ve heard this episode, you’ll never look at cycling – or your bike – in the same way again.

Chris Boardman Olympic champion, technical wizard, entrepreneur and campaigner