Australian Open Tennis organisers have been criticised all week for their decision to play the event’s qualifying tournament in conditions which several players have argued were hazardous to their health. Were the players in this week’s qualifiers treated the same as bigger name players in the main draw would have been if this all happened a week later? What happens if poor air quality does impact the opening week of the year’s first Grand Slam? Our Correspondent, Russell Fuller, brings us the latest on the air quality.
We’ll also speak to sports journalist, Chris Mitchell, a familiar face and voice across the BBC and now on the ABC in Australia. While most of us were enjoying Christmas and New Year holidays, Chris spent the start of January protecting a farm belonging to his family. Watching the skies, worrying about the wind direction and doing all he could to protect his in-laws’ home and the neighbouring ones too.
Alexandra Palace in north London is famous for hosting major events – including this week’s Masters Snooker. But how many of those watching sport at the Palace know that it is also the birthplace of BBC Television? The venue’s Deputy Chief Executive, Emma Dagnes, has been giving Sportshour’s Jamie Broughton a history lesson.
But what about the sharks?
How often do you see a moment of sporting inspiration or excellence and think to yourself, 'I wonder if I could do that'? Well, Victoria Evans believes that 'Yes', you can. She's out to prove it by breaking the world record for rowing solo across the Atlantic. Just one problem though - Victoria had never rowed before taking this on. But that doesn't mean she's a stranger to extreme sporting challenges. Victoria has been speaking to Sportshour's Miriam Walker-Khan and Anita Jones.
Snowboarding with no knees
We meet a fifty-something who came late to the slopes but whose ideas are helping others enjoy what's become his passion, that's Para Snowboarding. Darren Swift ... also known as Swifty ... is a double above-the-knee amputee. The BBC's Jenny Jones, an Olympic snowboard medallist, hears how he's pioneered the technology which now allows lower-limb amputees like him to enjoy the sport. It involves a kitchen chopping board.
Winter Youth Olympics
We head to Lausanne, Switzerland for day 3 of the Winter Youth Olympics.
In the NFL we get a little closer to the Super Bowl this weekend as the Divisional Rounds take place. With the old guard of Brady and Brees now out can two of the sports brightest young stars Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson inch their teams closer to the championship?
And we are joined by former marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe as she helps promote the growth of female runners in the Middle East at the Muscat Marathon in Oman.
Photo: Action from day one of the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland
FA Cup third round - Magic, heroes and upsets
This weekend on Sportshour we preview the FA Cup third round. It is a weekend for heroes and villains, giant killings and upsets and the little clubs putting one over on the big boys. One club which will be hoping to do just that is AFC Fylde who are in the fifth division of English football; they play Premier League high-flyers Sheffield United and we speak to their chairman about their hopes in the competition.
This weekend all of the FA Cup ties will be delayed by one minute to encourage fans to ‘Take A Minute’ to think about looking after their mental health, as part of the Heads Up campaign. We speak to former Premier League footballer Marvin Sordell who retired last season citing mental health reasons about why this campaign is so important.
We remember the former head of US Basketball, David Stern, who died this week at the age of 77. Stern was the NBA's commissioner for 30 years and was also credited with launching a women's NBA, advancing the rights for black players and helping to change attitudes to HIV. We speak to sportswriter Erica Ayala.
Plus it is also a huge weekend in the NFL as wildcard weekend begins. Caroline Barker is joined by former NFL player Jason Bell and former CEO of the Oakland Raiders Amy Trask. They give us their perspectives of what goes through the players, coaches and backroom staffs mind in the build up to the Super Bowl.
Photo: The FA Cup trophy on display prior to an Emirates FA Cup first round match. (Credit: Getty Images)
Sportshour: A look back at 2019
We look back at our favourite moments from Sportshour over the past year and relive some of the best bits.
Photo: Alex Morgan of the USA runs with the ball during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. (Credit:Getty Images)
Megan Rapinoe: The World Cup, that pose and Trump
On this week's Sportshour we hear from one of the world's most recognizable footballers - Megan Rapinoe. In July she captained the US team to another World Cup victory and won the golden boot as the tournaments top scorer. She also picked up the two most prestigious individual awards the game has to offer; the FIFA best and the Ballon D'Or. She tells us about how she has used her new found profile to lead the fight for equality in sport in terms of racism, gender and sexuality.
It is the final of the Club World Cup and Flamengo of Brazil take on Liverpool of the English Premier League to find out who will be crowned the best club football side in the World. We go live to Qatar to preview the match.
Beitar Jerusalem is one of the biggest football clubs in Israel but it is infamous for the behaviour of some of its fans towards Muslims. They've been repeatedly sanctioned for it's abuse of Muslim opponents but we hear how thanks to a new owner, the club is determined to change their reputation.
Who is better? Brady or Brees? A team of journalists and fans discuss who they think is a better quarterback. Is it Tom Brady who has won six Super Bowl titles or do they think Drew Brees has overtaken him due to his NFL touchdown record breaking passes?
Photo: Megan Rapinoe of United States poses for photos with the Golden Boot during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup (Credit: Getty Images)