Delegates at a series of innovative BBC Sport Summits have made a series of pledges on how they can solve the problems facing sport.
The BBC joined forces with Sport England and UK Sport to host 13 regional conferences which will culminate in a national event on 16 March.
Below are the pledges that were made by the regions and news of some of the progress that has already been made.
Readers have also been e-mailing us their thoughts on the hot topics and they have been fed into the debate - you can still use the form on the right to contribute.
KEY PLEDGES AND IDEAS
(Delegates have committed to helping make these happen)
East of England Summit (18 January)
Develop a transferable passport scheme for volunteers which confirms accreditation to work with young people - therefore only one police check needed per year
BBC to help give media training for sports organisations
Investors in People to include healthy living and active lifestyles criteria in their awards to industry
Yorkshire Summit (25 January)
2005 is Year of the Volunteer - a "thank you card" for sport volunteers to be produced, along with suggestions for other simple ways to thank, recognise and reward your sports volunteers
Business leaders encouraged to make workplaces more active - for instance promote the use of pedometers
- To develop a regional hub for volunteers - a resource and information centre to make volunteering easier
- Offer tax breaks for cyclists
- BBC to use the red button more widely across regional sport programmes, and programmes that feature people playing sport ie. Soaps, to sign post people to grassroots playing opportunities in their area
West Midlands Summit (1 February)
- Clubcard scheme to reward children for taking part in organised physical activity - redeem their points by getting free/reduced price access to other activities. Sport Summit facilitator Chris Grant has gauged interest with two major banks and plans further meetings with them.
- Promote the use of dance mats in schools - The Youth Sport Trust are in talks with Birmingham Local Education Authority to develop the scheme across their region.
- Elite athletes to have commitment to work on grassroots and community projects written into their contracts
- Personal pledge from Dave Robinson to organise a seven-10km walk involving 500 people!
Wales (8 February)
To work more closely with the BBC to agree a better way of working to influence sport and physical activities
South West Summit (16 February)
- Businesses to donate senior management time towards mentoring people in sport to teach them more about business practices and to provide a sponsorship broker to provide the link between sport and business
- Universities to cover students college fees in return for volunteering in the community
- The BBC to set up a dedicated grassroots sports channel
- National Governing Bodies to create simple Talent pathways and County Sports Partnerships to made more robust organisations and to be encouraged to foster the Talent pathways
- Personal pledge from Richard Ward to set up a village games in his own village to get more people active
London Summit (22 February)
- Make membership of sports clubs tax free, give employers tax breaks for providing sports facilities for employees and increase mileage allowance for cyclists
- Get local role models for local schools
- Provide a school sport co-ordinator in every primary school
- Introduce park activity organisers
- A whole sport plan for business - to ensure that sponsors feed money into the grassroots as well as the elite
- Personal pledge form Brian Spicer to meet school sport co-ordinators and work out a plan to bring in a sponsor for a London School Table Tennis league
- Personal pledge from Andrew Shields for South Loughton Cricket Club to become the first integrated sighted and visually impaired cricket club in London
Scotland Summit (25 February)
- Ensure facilities are low cost and accessible in all local areas
- Sport stars to take greater responsibility as positive role models
- The media should widen their views of what sport and physical activity is
East Midlands Summit (28 February)
To form a hub for volunteers - a one-stop shop for information and training with professional support to offer guidance
- To create a broader definition of sport - to include participation activities
- A contractual/moral obligation for elite athletes to give something back to grassroots sport
- Personal pledge fromTim Garfield, Regional Director Sport England East Midlands, to get back into coaching children.
North West Summit (1 March)
- To ask Roger Draper, chief executive of Sport England, to approach Dave Whelan - the head of JJB Sports - to start offering more practical sportswear for women
- To foster the "buddy" system where kids are encouraged to travel in groups to use sports facilities - thus making it more of a social activity
- To organise a forum for local sports bodies to give them media advice - when to issue press releases, who to direct them to and what to include in them - Stewart Kellett, regional director of Sport England North West, and Martin Brooks, head of BBC North West, to set up forum to meet in six weeks time
- Better training for sports organisations of how to sell themselves to big business.
Sports to carry out more research into their spectators and their needs and better data management - so that sponsors are given more information on their market
Northern Ireland Summit (3 March)
Grassroots sport is attractive to business as it is a conduit to building and developing communities
Capital investment needs the support of the community
Grassroots organisations need to have a business-like approach and think about what sponsors could gain from a future partnership - as well as what they might gain
Successful partnerships will create a win-win situation that is an even bigger win for the community as a whole
Very few successful schemes are one-offs - most develop over time
South East Summit (8 March)
To create a sporting e-bay to pool resources. Sports clubs would use a website to share particular skills - eg: if one particular club was expert at putting together fixture lists they could share that with other clubs in exchange for other resources
Free access to sport just like galleries and museums
Every child to have leadership and volunteering experience before they leave school
Professional assistance to help sport sell itself to big business
Kath Grainger suggested that as role models, athletes should ask media, businesses to match their appearance fee and donate it to grassroots sport. She pledged to ask fee payers to match her fee and pay to charity/grassroots sport
Mike Lewis, of the BBC, to devote time volunteering for his local club
North East Summit (10 March)
Get business to promote volunteering to improve their profile, as part of their corporate social responsibility
Set up a grassroots foundation to broker links with business
County Sports Partnerships to have media officers - more contact with the media to establish their needs
16 March: National Summit - BBC TV Centre, London
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