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  1. State of Sport - a week of BBC original journalism about key sporting issues
  2. Hosts David Eades & Jessica Creighton with a panel and audience in Manchester
  3. Guests include Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Olympic hockey star Helen Richardson-Walsh and former GB athlete Katharine Merry
  4. Get involved: #StateOfSport

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Full-time

    State of Sport debate

    What's that noise? It is the sound of the final whistle. Boooooo! That's all we have time for I'm afraid.

    Thanks for all your input over the past 90 minutes - and over the past five days during our State of Sport week.

    But it is not too late to contact us.

    Have you ever taken a performance enhancing substance? Does your sport have a problem with doping? Get in touch using  this link.

    And if there is any of our State of Sport content which you would like to catch up on, then head over to this page where you can find words, videos, images...everything.


  2. Get involved


    Sid Special:  Katherine Merry is right, the inspiration is there but it needs backing up with cash to fund free coaching sessions etc.

    Triple G:  Biggest problem in sport is lack of good governance. DCMS & Sport England supposed to oversee but both not fit for purpose.

    Grasy: Doping is nothing to do with education. Life bans and heavy fines would make a huge difference.

  3. 'We need more facilities for young disabled people'

    State of Sport debate - disability inequality

    Katharine Merry

    British 400m bronze medallist at 2000 Olympics

    Tell a 10-year-old disabled person to come back in six months and they are not going to wait.

    Where are they going to go?

    There’s a whole structure that needs to be put in place – the inspired will go off and do something else, they won’t wait.

  4. 'Paralympics help people understand disability'

    State of Sport debate - disability inequality

    Sir Craig Reedie

    World Anti-Doping Agency president

    I wouldn't want anybody to downplay the effects of the very elite end of sport in this country. Look at the success of Paralympics, that has helped people understand what disabled people really go through.

    The elite end of disabled people in sport is in top shape.

    However, I would never dream of telling Tanni how to solve the other problem at the other - getting more disabled people into low level sport - which is much greater.

  5. 'Young disabled people still can't do PE'

    State of Sport debate - disability inequality

    Tanni Grey-Thompson

    11-time Paralympic champion

    The profile of the Olympic and Paralympic games is amazing but it does not necessarily encourage anybody to go and become an elite. The way to fix it is by having physical access, transport, about being able to be active in schools.

    I still have many young people write to me and say I can’t do PE in school because of health and safety reason. It is probably dropping a little bit but needs to be better.

    Where do you see the imagery of disabled people doing sport and having fun. That’s part of the problem.

  6. The next issue

    State of Sport debate - disability inequality

    A change of subject. And we go back to the audience. 

    Mike Jennings, communications advisor at the English Federation of Disability Sport, asks:

    “Not everyone wants to be a Paralympian or elite performer. How can we help to break down barriers in sport to support more everyday disabled people to take up activity and lead active lives?

  7. 'No incentive for black coaches'

    State of Sport debate - racial inequality

    Benni McCarthy

    Former South Africa footballer

    There is no incentive for black and ethnic minority coaches to apply for coaching jobs. 

    As I was going through my coaching badges, because when I look and see the amount of ethnic minorities I see, I say what is the point of doing it? No-one is getting a chance. 

    But if you educate yourself and get to the level where you can be equally good or better then opportunities will come.

    People say they are not enough black people in coaching but how many submit CVs? Probably none. Because we automatically think they will discard us and not give us opportunities.

    If we educate ourselves we can only change it. Then if we’re not getting interviews then more questions could be asked. I have never applied myself for any job, I am one of those expect no reply.

  8. Post update

    State of Sport debate - racial inequality

    While we're talking about inequality. Let's hear from Benni McCarthy on the lack of black and ethnic minority coaches in English football...

    Although at least a quarter of all professional footballers in England are black, a recent report found that only 17 of the 92 top clubs had a BAME coach in a senior role.  

  9. 'Gender equality is happening over time'

    State of Sport debate - gender inequality

    Liz Nicholl

    UK Sport chief executive

    In terms of the world class system here we are incredibly equitable. The number of athletes, male and female, we fund is about the same. The number of medals we came back from the Rio Olympics with, male and female, is about the same. We are quite unique in that respect.

    We have gaps in female high performance coaches. But we are seeing more women getting on to boards and growing number of female CEOs. It is happening over time.”

  10. 'New governance code will be transformational'

    State of Sport debate - gender inequality

    Liz Nicholl

    UK Sport chief executive

    In April, there is a really important moment for British sport - the new sports governance code comes into effect. Every organisation which gets public funding will be required to have action plan to comply with that code. 

    It will be transformational. 

    We will look back in a little while and see it has had a massive impact because no money will be flowing out of the door until an action plan has been agreed with UK Sport and Sport England in that.

    There is a requirement to have a diversity action plan and a requirement to increase women on boards. 

    Also a requirement to have governing structures that are balanced in terms of diversity. This will change at the very top of sports and have impact over time.

  11. 'Is gender inequality changing? No'

    State of Sport debate - gender inequality

    Helen Richardson-Walsh

    GB hockey player

    Has gender inequality disappeared in hockey? No.

    I think on the international stage, absolutely. The funding we get from UK Sport is shared equally – and to do with results. On a domestic level it is not equal at all. 

    My male counterparts will earn more money than I do from clubs in this country and from opportunities they have in the Euro Hockey League which is just for men. The female equivalent is pretty pathetic. 

    It doesn’t feel like it is changing, in hockey it feels like it is getting further apart which considering the success of the women’s team is really disappointing. 

    I feel governing bodies of every sport need to do more to make sure their sports are equal.

  12. Gender gap being addressed?

    State of Sport debate - gender inequality

    Liz Norris, social inclusion co-ordinator at Greater Manchester Sports Partnership, has the microphone in her hand.

    She asks:

    "There are two England international football team captains – one male and one female. One earns approximately 255% more than the other. 

    "What is being done to address the gender gap in sports in terms of athlete value but also to address media coverage and lack of females in leaderships and governance positions?"

  13. The next issue...

    State of Sport debate - gender inequality

    Moving on... Let's talk gender equality in sport. Or should that be inequality?

  14. 'People will always push boundaries'

    State of Sport debate - doping in amateur sport

    Tanni Grey-Thompson

    11-time Paralympic champion

    I’m not hugely shocked by the figures because that will to win means people will take risks.

    It doesn’t matter if it is low level or the highest level, there are people who will push the boundaries as much as they can. 

    Education has got to be there but also about supplementation and diet – people are looking for this edge. 

    We’re making choices at younger and younger ages about this pyramid and you’re seeing young children in football clubs being selected and deselected at eight or nine years old. 

    That increases the pressure.

  15. 'Education must start early'

    State of Sport debate - doping in amateur sport

    Liz Nicholl

    UK Sport chief executive

    I complete agree what needs to be done - education, education, education. It should start as early as possible. Not only in schools but community clubs.

    I was shocked by the findings of the BBC study. 

    I would love to see some of the big sports with big reach into local communities doing something really positive and proactive in terms of the messaging and resourcing that to get across the health risks.

  16. Education, education, education

    State of Sport debate - doping in amateur sport

    Over to Liz Nicholl now on this subject of how doping can be eradicated. And the UK Sport chief executive goes all Tony Blair on us... Education, education, education are her three main priorities...

  17. 'Shock tactics the way forward'

    State of Sport debate - doping in amateur sport

    Katharine Merry

    British 400m bronze medallist at 2000 Olympics

    In amateur sport this is not a surprise, let’s be honest. 

    That 49% thought PEDs are easily available for amateur athlete who has nothing to lose. It is a sad fact. 

    Starting at a young age is a fantastic idea, getting into the heads of young people that it is not good. 

    The main ingredient is the shock tactic this is bad for your health and there are side effects here. 

    Shocking amateur athletes and young people is potentially the way forward.

  18. 'Problem needs to be solved by education'

    State of Sport debate - doping in amateur sport

    Sir Craig Reedie

    World Anti-Doping Agency president

    The simple answer to Dr Lazarus's question is yes. I looked at the figures in the BBC survey and thought they produced a number of answers to the same question. 

    The only way this particular problem will be solved is through education. Sport will do some, but ultimately the only way to do is through physical education in school, getting pupils to believe it is not smart and if they do it is cheating.

  19. Better education?

    State of Sport debate - doping in amateur sport

    Our second question from the studio audience comes from Dr Lambros Lazarus, senior lecturer in social psychology at Sheffield Hallam University.

    "Should ant-doping education be integrated in the school curriculum early on within the context of physical education and health promotion, so that young people are better equipped with knowledge and skills to avoid doping later in life?"

  20. The next issue...

    State of Sport debate - doping in amateur sport

    Time to move on. Next up? Doping in amateur sport...