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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 March, 2003, 11:02 GMT
The future of British Sport
We asked users of the BBC Sport website what they would do if they were in charge of British sport.

What were your best suggestions to improve the state of British sport?

Below are a selection of the best entries:


If I was in charge of sport in the UK, I would build national sports centres around the country to bring in, find and train youth talent in the main and low-key sports.

Another idea would be to set up courses for budding sports stars and troubled sports stars about the dangers of drugs and allow people of all races to take part in sport and try and stop racism.

Close examination of Australia's approach might be educational!
David Pearce, England

Disabled sport is improving and building training centres for them is the gift that they would really want so that Britain will get better at the Paralympics year after year.
Ian Warren, England

If I was in charge of sport in the UK, I would create an autonomous government body - the Department of Sport, rather than the DCMS. This stand-alone body would prioritise the creation of national centres of sporting excellence in tandem with national sporting arenas.

Local authorities would be given devolved funding to extend the school sport co-ordinator network to develop clear pathways for sporting excellence from early years to professionalism.

Athletes and competitors would be encouraged to develop using targeted Lottery funding. Every individual would be given the opportunity to participate or compete at their chosen level, with no barrier - social or economic.
Pete Henham, England

If I was in charge of sport in the UK, I would.....

·Create an infrastructure that gives everyone access to whatever sport they want.
·Improve sports education and tuition. Create a greater awareness of our diverse sporting culture.
·Encourage people to have the will to win. Dispense with old-fashioned ideals regarding taking part.
·Introduce a media-friendly image to sport that encourages talent to want to be stars.
·Make our nation more patriotic. Make winning at international level the ultimate goal.
·Place sport higher on the scale of national importance. Encourage celebration of national success.
Pete Henham, England

If I was in charge of sport in the UK, I would put a great deal more emphasis on sport in schools, reducing the paper burden on staff and lengthening the school day to allow time for 'games' every day.

Naturally this would mean working on the sorry state of the nation's playing field situation. Sorry not to be at all radical (bar the longer school day!) but instilling in children the excitement, pleasure, camaraderie and spirit that participating in sport can bring has got to be the starting point for any improvement in sport.

P.S. Close examination of Australia's approach might be educational!
David Pearce, England

The focus has to be on getting all people of all ages to participate
Cary Whitmarsh, England

If I was in charge of sport in the UK, I would introduce a national sporting partnership between Schools and Sport Centres of Excellence to identify and produce the champions of tomorrow, using technology to track, monitor and assess sporting performance.

A central database would be used to register exceptional talent from within the school.

These athletes would be invited to attend CoEs supported by full time coaches, the best equipment and facilities.

Training schedules and competition results would be tracked in the database to enable teachers and coaches to knowledge share and ensure progress is continuous and consistent.
Ian Starkey, England

Participation in sport must be come a key element of the 'Health of the Nation' strategy. There are clear health benefits for people who participate in sport even at very low levels.

Investment must be made for a long-term future in which most people participate in sport on a regular basis. The focus has to be on getting all people of all ages to participate - if a child wants to take part the parent should also have an interest. By making sport accessible to all people generally will be more prepared to pay to support our elite athletes.
Cary Whitmarsh, England

If I was in charge of sport in the UK I would focus on two things: the young and the benefits of sport for society, for both are intrinsically linked.

The benefits to society of greater participation cannot be underestimated. Multi-ethnic and socially diverse teams lead to racial and class understanding; more people playing sport regularly leads to a healthier country where people encourage their own young children to take up sport.

Investment in school and club sports is essential and it will pay off.
David Thompson, England

If I was in charge of sport in the UK, I would alter the hours of the school day to allow children to play sports after lunch every day. If we fail to get many more young people simply participating in activities then the chances of nurturing fit, healthy youngsters able to fulfil their potential will be decreased.

Not only is the health of the nation at stake, but if this generation are not introduced to sports then inevitably they and their off-spring will be unlikely to have an interest in sport and watching elite performers in their adult years.
Steve Oliphant, UK




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A one-day conference on the future of British Sport
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Tuesday 25 March
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BBC Television Centre, London
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