UK Sport has today announced a unique funding support package for British Basketball to help support GB athletes to continue to compete on the world stage in order to inspire communities to engage positively in sport activity. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has confirmed additional funding to be routed through the high performance agency.
An investment of £195,000 will be provided to British Basketball to ensure GB athletes can compete at important World Cup qualifying games in June and July.
A further £305,000 has been ring-fenced to enable the GB men’s and women’s senior teams to fulfil international competition commitments in 2018/19 but it will only be released if British Basketball can demonstrate a sustainable financial plan to support its athletes going forward.
This includes the sport agreeing an effective governance structure, including ongoing compliance with the Code for Sports Governance, and production of commercially sustainable financial plans. In addition the sport will have to evidence the inspirational social impact of this investment to capitalise on the sport’s unique reach into young, urban and diverse communities.
The unique funding support package is not part of UK Sport’s existing Olympic and Paralympic world class programme investment and therefore no Olympic medal target range is attached to it.
This Government funding is being routed through UK Sport as the most effective means of funding the sport’s British-level national teams with a clear inspirational impact purpose. Other UK Sport investments and investment policies remain unchanged.
Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch said:
“Basketball has the potential to do a great deal of good, particularly by inspiring young people in our towns and cities to play sport. This is an exceptional investment to ensure our teams can fulfil their international commitments this year. However, I have been very clear that basketball bodies must work together to secure the future of the sport. This includes maximising the commercial potential of basketball and developing a sustainable business model. UK Sport will continue to work with all the basketball bodies to deliver progress in this area.”
UK Sport Chief Executive Liz Nicholl said:
“At the request of Government, UK Sport has worked to support British Basketball in finding a solution that will enable athletes to compete in world level events this year. It is disappointing that British Basketball has found itself in this situation, faced with significant financial challenges, but it is important that we put the athletes first so we are pleased to step in to manage this one-off support package for the sport.
“It is vital British Basketball now demonstrates it can clearly deliver on its commitments and use the impact of its national teams to inspire participation, pride and wellbeing across the country, particularly in communities that it has a unique ability to reach. It is also a priority that the sport works together as a collective to reach agreement on the creation of a sustainable business model that will support its athletes before any further ring-fenced funding support can be provided.”
Interim Chair of British Basketball Ed Warner said:
“Today’s funding news is extremely welcome and will ensure the GB Senior men can compete in their two FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Scotland this summer. A lot of work has been undertaken with UK Sport and others to get us to this point, and I am confident they understand the direction of travel for GB Basketball to help ensure an even more coherent commercial and pathway structure for the sport. There is still a lot more work to do to ensure long-term sustainability for elite Basketball in Britain, but today’s news is very welcome.”
GB Senior Men’s Captain Kieron Achara said: “On behalf of the team, I’d like to thank UK Sport and British Basketball for supporting us with the funding. It means we can take to the court this summer and do our nation proud while inspiring our youth that they can indeed do the same. There is so much potential in British hoops and the important thing now is to get funding into the sport to help it grow and embed the right structures to support the teams. With the new Interim Chairman at GB Basketball and this news from UK Sport the signs are very positive.”
In March, Tracey Crouch called a summit with UK Sport, Sport England, FIBA, GB Basketball and home nation governing bodies to look at how the sport can be put on a more sustainable financial footing.
Following the meeting, basketball bodies have agreed to work together on making the sport more commercially successful and delivering an engagement plan to improve the social impact of basketball.