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At this point in time in New Zealand, as elsewhere, we are facing a youth sport crisis. A ‘perfect storm’ of well publicised issues – an increase in ‘overuse’ sporting injuries at a time when we have declining youth sport participation numbers, and the many costs of an often win-at-all-costs approach to sport - has resulted in a shared concern from all of us who love sport about how to tackle these problems. These problems require innovative and creative solutions. Here I talk about some of the youth sport research we have been doing in New Zealand and how through academics, sport organisations and coaches working together we can co-design more evidence-based, creative and innovative solutions to tackle some of the big issues we face.