17 episodes

Unique insight into the biggest sports news stories and the human issues behind them. BBC sports journalists and guests go behind the headlines and explain what’s really going on.

The Sports Desk BBC Radio

    • Sports

Unique insight into the biggest sports news stories and the human issues behind them. BBC sports journalists and guests go behind the headlines and explain what’s really going on.

    Wenger exclusive: My blueprint for football’s future

    Wenger exclusive: My blueprint for football’s future

    In an exclusive interview, Fifa’s head of global development Arsene Wenger tells the Sports Desk why his controversial plan for a men’s World Cup every two years is good for football and the welfare of its leading players.

    Wenger talks about the "chaos" of the current match schedule, proposes fewer international breaks and says he is prepared to "gamble" on a restructure that would see "the best play the best" more often.

    We hear what fan groups in Europe and Africa think of the former Arsenal manager’s plan and assess why a similar proposal for the women’s World Cup is proving equally divisive.

    Presenters: Sarah Mulkerrins, Dan Roan, Nesta McGregor, Tim Vickery.

    Producer: Sam Sheringham

    • 45 min
    Raducanu and the year of the teenager - can Britain's new sports stars help get the nation active?

    Raducanu and the year of the teenager - can Britain's new sports stars help get the nation active?

    Emma Raducanu's US Open triumph caps a golden summer for British sport with young, multicultural talent leading the way.

    But with levels of physical activity plummeting during the pandemic, how can elite success translate to greater participation on the ground? And how can sport use its new role models to reach communities it hasn’t reached before?

    We hear from tennis coach Judy Murray and double Olympic medallist Lutalo Muhammad before showcasing one of the great success stories in grassroots sport.

    Panellists: Sarah Mulkerrins, Dan Roan, Nesta McGregor and Sean Ingle
    Producer: Sam Sheringham

    • 41 min
    Should sport get tough on vaccine hesitancy?

    Should sport get tough on vaccine hesitancy?

    It’s a divisive issue across society – and sport is no exception.
    The Covid-19 vaccination – recommended by governments and medics across the world – but rejected by vast numbers of leading athletes.
    Sarah Mulkerrins, Dan Roan and Ben Rumsby hear from Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who caught Covid while unvaccinated and spent three days on a hospital drip.
    BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller reveals why tennis players are split down the middle over the merits of the jab.
    Plus, how unvaccinated athletes in some US sports are becoming second-class citizens in their own dressing-rooms.

    Producer: Sam Sheringham

    • 40 min
    Is motorsport killing the planet – or helping save it?

    Is motorsport killing the planet – or helping save it?

    From synthetic fuel to Extreme E, motorsport is getting greener, but is it enough?

    Delyth Lloyd and Nesta McGregor are joined by the BBC’s chief environment correspondent Justin Rowlatt and chief F1 writer Andrew Benson to discuss the environmental challenges facing a sport seen by many as “a carnival of carbon”.

    We hear from Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button plus Ross Brawn, who’s leading Formula 1’s drive towards sustainable fuels that he claims could benefit the whole car industry.

    And rising star Jamie Chadwick on driving in the Extreme E racing series that’s using electric cars to highlight environmental problems in remote corners of the globe.

    Producer: Sam Sheringham

    • 39 min
    Can the Paralympics change the world?

    Can the Paralympics change the world?

    The Paralympic Games were launched this week in Tokyo with the bold intention of changing the lives of the 1.2 billion people around the world who live with some form of disability.

    But when disabled people are hidden from sight in many corners of the globe, can the legacy of these Paralympics really stretch beyond a fortnight of wonder in Japan?

    We hear from Oksana Masters, a US Para-cyclist, rower and cross-country skier who has won medals at the summer and winter Games, and teenaged Ugandan swimmer Husnah Kukundakwe who is breaking boundaries in her homeland.

    We also hear the views of GB Paralympic legend Tanni Grey-Thompson as we assess the potential for Tokyo 2020 to achieve lasting change.

    • 40 min
    Afghanistan and the threat to progress through sport

    Afghanistan and the threat to progress through sport

    As the world reels from the Taliban’s return to power, we examine the consequences for sport and inclusivity in Afghanistan.

    The founder of the country’s women’s football team Khalida Popal tells us about fears for her players’ safety.

    We’ll hear why the Taliban ideology could threaten the Afghan cricketing fairytale.

    And why the dreams of the country’s Paralympians appear to be over.

    • 41 min

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