Forty years in the making: Iranian women attend their first football match
Over 3,000 women watched the Iranian national team beat Cambodia at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran after they were officially allowed to attend a football match for the first time. Women had been banned from attending men's sporting events in the country since the 1980s but after pressure from the sports world governing body FIFA and campaigners like Maryam Shojaei change has happened. But is enough being done? We hear from fans who attended and speak to Amnesty International about what more can be done.
World Mental Health Day was marked this week and 25 year old American basketball player Imani McGee Stafford opened up to us about her story. She is six foot seven inches tall and pursued a career in basketball but life was not always this rosy. She tells Shari Vahl all.
The Super League Grand Final takes place with Saint Helen's facing Salford in Manchester to win the sports biggest prize in domestic rugby. But we speak to a team who are hoping to be there next year. Toronto Wolfpack have just been promoted and their Chief Executive stops by to tell us about rugby in Canada and how this sport can grow in their country.
Also in the programme we head live to Vienna to find out if Eliud Kipchoge has become the first person to run a marathon under two hours and travel to Huddersfield Town in England to hear about a new app which they are using to scout new footballing talent.
Photo: Iranian Women's fans cheer during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Iran and Cambodia (Getty Images)
Alberto Salazar: The inside story
For years there had been rumours. But they were just that - rumours. Then in 2015, a BBC documentary accused one of the world's top athletics coaches of being involved in widespread doping. This week, Alberto Salazar was banned from the sport for four years after an investigation by the US anti-doping agency. Salazar runs the Nike Oregon Project, which has been home to some of the world’s leading athletes, including, until two years ago, Britain’s four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah. Mark Daly, an investigative journalist for the BBC, has been following this story for more than four years. He tells Caroline the process behind making the documentary and how he got key witnesses to speak up.
We’re riding the waves with one of the top names in surfing, Mercedes Maidana. In her own words, she was "truly living the dream, travelling the world chasing waves, until one incident that changed everything". In 2014, Mercedes suffered a head injury at a competition in the United States. She lost her career, sponsorship, house and even her relationship with her husband. Five years on, she now wants to raise awareness of concussion in a sport where it receives little attention.
A new sport at next year's Olympics is climbing. We’re in Slovenia speaking to the 20-year-old phenomenon Janja Garnbret, who is already the most successful competitive climber in history. Hear her journey of how she got into the sport and how she is hoping it will be a success at the Tokyo Games.
Tottenham Hotspur are away at Brighton this weekend in the English Premier League. But there will be football at their new stadium in north London - American football. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will host its first-ever NFL game as it welcomes the Oakland Raiders and the Chicago Bears. Joining Caroline on the programme will be a Spurs legend! He scored goals for fun during his 17-year football career, but he also played a season for the London Monarchs American football team. Clive Allen will explain all.
Former Australia and Saracens fly-half Michael Lynagh tells Caroline Barker that it is "a miracle" he survived after suffering a stroke in 2012. Seven years on, the World Cup winner is now a commentator, and he tells us his thoughts so far on the 2019 World Cup, plus the key ingredients for winning such a prestigious competition.
David Rudisha's name means "to return" in Swahili, and that is exactly what the Kenyan is planning to do. The double Olympic champion is aiming to win a third Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The world 800m record holder has not competed in the last 18 months due to an injury, and he also escaped unhurt in a car accident earlier this year. This week, Rudisha has been speaking to the BBC's Celestine Karoney about his comeback and how he's been dealing with tragedy in his personal life.
Picture - Alberto Salazar (Credit - Getty Images).
Michelle Payne and the race that stopped Australia
Michelle Payne became the first woman to take one of the world's greatest sporting prizes, shocking the world by winning the Melbourne Cup in 2015. Now the story has made it to the big screen. It highlights how Michelle defied the odds in a sport dominated by men and how she achieved a lifelong ambition. The film was released in Australia this week and Michelle was our special guest, joining Caroline to react to her momentous story made into a film.
The standout moment of netball coach Tracey Neville's career was guiding England to Commonweath Games gold last year, but this week she revealed she suffered a miscarriage the day after. She has recently announced that she and her partner are expecting their first child. She's been telling the BBC's Sally Nugent why now is the time to put her family first.
Tony Riddell is running from Land's End to John O'Groats, enduring 30 miles a day over a 30 day period. But this is not your average running story: Tony is doing this challenge barefoot. He tells us why.
We also hear from a remarkable sporting family. Brothers Jakob, Henrik and Filip Ingebritsen will compete for the 5000m gold at the World Athletics Championships in Doha. There are seven siblings in total, and their life revolves around athletics. Even on their wedding days, Henrik and Filip fitted in a training session. Their father Gjert Arne won Norwegian Sports Coach of the year last year, and has also written a a book called How to Raise World Champions.
With a year until the Paralympics in Japan, we'll find out how accessible it is to travel around Tokyo, and how rugby has a rich history in Georgia.
Picture - Michelle Payne (Melbourne Gold Cup 2015 success).
‘A testament to our Union and our country’
‘A testament to our Union and our country’
Canada’s Alana Gattinger is the first female Team Manager at a men’s Rugby World Cup. She’s been speaking to Sportshour ahead of their opening match against Italy in Fukuoka on Thursday.
Solid Gold Hits
Noah Lyles and Sandi Morris are both gold medal favourites for this month’s World Athletics Championships. But, alongside their sprinting and pole-vaulting this season, the pair have co-written, recorded and performed a song with the Swiss band, Baba Shrimps. That performance was to a crowd of 25 thousand at the Zurich Diamond League meeting – and, in Noah’s case, he picked up the microphone only an hour after winning the 100 metres.
‘You’re not entitled to any of it working out, but it’s really fun to try’
Alise Willoughby is a reigning BMX World Champion, who also won Silver at the Rio Olympic Games. Her husband and coach is Sam Willoughby, who won his Silver at the London Olympics in 2012. Sam's own BMX career was ended when he suffered a life-changing injury just over three years ago. He lost the use of his legs after a training accident. Together, they got through that very difficult time and are now a world championship winning coach and athlete combination. That doesn’t mean there weren’t some darker moments though, especially in the hours and days after Sam’s crash.
Zimbabwe made their Netball World Cup debut in Liverpool this summer, going on to finish in eighth place. But what’s next for the team? Sportshour has spoken to the team’s goal shooter, Joyce Takaidza, and Head Coach Lloyd Makunde about what the lasting impact of the Gems’ achievements could be. Chief amongst the issues to be tackled is finance.
Caroline, who commentated on the country’s World Cup journey, has been speaking to Kirsty Coventry, the Olympic gold-medal winning swimmer and now Zimbabwe’s Minister for Youth and Sport, about how the country can ensure the World Cup is the beginning of a journey, not the end.
Photo: A Canada rugby fan cheering (Getty Images)
'Allow women into football stadiums'
We remember Sahar Khodayari, a passionate supporter of the Iranian football team. Sahar fatally set herself alight in Tehran after her trial for attempting to enter a football stadium, disguised as a man, was postponed. Women in Iran have been stopped from going to stadiums to watch men’s sporting events since the 1980s. This caused a huge outpouring of emotion on social media using the hashtag "blue girl " - a reference to the colours of her favourite team Esteqlal. Maryam Shojaee is the sister of the national team captain Masoud. She's been campaigning tirelessly for the rule to be changed as she has been explaining to Shari.
Back in February, we spoke to the Jamaican distance runner Kemoy Campbell. Kemoy collapsed while competing at a meeting in New York. He was told by doctors that he actually died on the track. When we spoke to him then, he still hoped to continue his career. But seven months on, doctors have now instructed him to retire from the sport. Shari Vahl caught up with him again this week and he told us how painful it was to give up on his dream of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
It's billed as the pinnacle of women's golf. Every two years, the top players from Europe and the United States take to the greens for the Solheim Cup. This weekend, the US are aiming to make it a hat-trick of titles at Gleneagles in Scotland. 80,000 tickets have been sold across the three days - a record for the sport in this country. What does it take to win such an iconic event? Hear from American golfer Brittany Lincicome, who has won the event four times.
We also hear from Olympic sailor Hannah Mills, who explains why she is campaigning against plastic use in sport, and Paralympic swimming star Mallory Weggerman, who tells us she was close to quitting after suffering a freak injury back in 2014.
Picture: Banner arguing to allow women into stadiums in Iran (Credit: Getty Images)