The Big Read (Paralympics)

Tom Degun: I am now a table tennis convert

I’ll be perfectly honest – when I went on Sunday to the 65th English Open Table Tennis Championships at the impressive English Institute of Sport (EIS) in Sheffield – I didn’t know all that much about the sport.

But before you criticise me too much, I did know some of the basics.

Mike Rowbottom: What will they think of next?

James Clarke, senior vice-president of the World Sport Group, was asked an interesting question at this week’s inaugural Global Sports Industry Congress in London.

Having set up the exclusive internet televising of the last Asian Youth Games, did he think that this method of publicising a sports event, a method employed more recently to show the England football team’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine, was the way of the future? Was this a watershed?

Alan Hubbard: Gary Lineker can be England 2018's Sebastian Coe

Jack Warner may be a noxious clown but he has certainly had England’s 2018 World Cup bidders jumping through hoops.

The Fifa vice-president from Trinidad, whose support supposedly is crucial to England’s quest to stage the tournament for the first time since 1966, has never been much if an Anglophile and his jibe that the bid is "lightweight" is par for the particular course he is adopting. But at least it seems to have provoked an overdue revamping of a bid hitherto heading perilously in the same direction as Paris’s abortive attempt to get the 2012 Olympic Games.

David Owen: Why the US World Cup bid will not "do a Chicago"

That didn’t take long: it’s been scarcely a week since Rio emerged triumphant as host-city of the 2016 Olympics, yet already the sports world has moved on emphatically to the next big thing – the race for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

With a Leaders in Football conference scheduled for last week in London, this abrupt switch was perhaps on the cards.

Jens Sejer Andersen: Rogge has never been in a stronger position to clean up the Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge had reasons to be satisfied when he entered the closing reception with his colleagues yesterday in the Tivoli Gardens, ending nine days of the Olympic summit in Copenhagen.

Re-elected by an 88-1 majority Rogge can start his last four year term with a strengthened mandate to achieve his political goals.

David Owen: Qatar ready to present strong bid for 2022 World Cup

What do the rugby sevens World Cup, tennis’s Sony Ericsson Championships and football’s Club World Cup have in common?

Right, all were – or are about to be – staged this year in the Middle East. Add to the list the Dubai World Cup, two Formula One grands prix and the European Tour’s season-ending golf championship and you get a sense of how important a venue for elite sport this politically sensitive but hydrocarbon-rich region has become.

John Steele: What happens next for Team 2012

On Tuesday last week, I joined 47 athletes from 47 different Olympic and Paralympic sports and disciplines, at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, to celebrate the announcement of Visa as the presenting partner of Team 2012.

To say that I was excited to be there would be an understatement. The creation of Team 2012 as an effective way of raising much needed private funds for Olympic and Paralympic sport, to complement the record public investment that has been made, has not been easy.

Sebastian Coe: Olympism and Youth – Towards a more active society

Throughout history great political, technological or artistic movement has come out of periods of great adversity. The United Nations from World War Two, satellite technology from the Cold War, great jazz from the Great Depression.

But in that adversity lies opportunity. The Olympic Movement has a once in a generation opportunity, I would say a responsibility, to better define and imbed its timeless values.