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It’s the Olympics! And how can we have a once-in-four-years sporting extravaganza without getting inspired to write? But where to start?

I recently wrote a post for the Booklympics feature on Rachel’s Random Reads blog on sport and books (you can read that here), and there are many books inspired by sport or written about it.

But what I’ve been thinking about is how events like the Olympics inspire people to get involved in sport themselves. In the UK, the BBC Sport website have a wonderful Get Inspired campaign to help people taking up sport they wouldn’t otherwise do.

And what does all that have to do with writing? Well, many a plot revolves around sporting involvement.

There is the getting into sport to fight for something or someone. Play With Me by Anna Katmore has the protagonist, Lisa, find herself playing football (soccer) because her love rival was using the sport to woo her crush.

There is the getting into sport to forget – both Five Days on Ballyboy Beach by David J O’Brien and Caught Inside by Jamie Deacon use surfing as a medium for protagonists to forget their woes.

There is getting into sport because it’s something to make you feel better about your body shape. For example, in Blocked by Jennifer Lane, the protagonist takes up volleyball because she is excessively tall… and then finds that she is very good at it.

And then there’s the old favourite of getting into sport to turn things around. But, whatever the reason, sport is inspirational … literally.