British Basketball vow to fight on

Britain Basketball has had its funding withdrawn

Britain Basketball has had its funding withdrawn

First published in National Sport News © by

British Basketball has promised to "fight on" after UK Sport's decision to remove all funding from the programme.

Performance chairman Roger Moreland described Tuesday's announcement from UK Sport as a "considerable shock" but said moves were being made to ensure this was not the end for British Basketball.

In an open letter for basketball fans, Moreland wrote: "Yesterday was a tough day for all of us. It came as a considerable shock that our funding was cut completely by UK Sport and judging by the reactions from social media, it was the same for you.

"Twenty-four hours after the announcement, I wanted to take the time to thank you for your support. The level and depth of that support was heart-warming and was a great comfort to the players, staff and officials at all levels. I suspect your emotions mirrored mine which moved from disappointment, into frustration and finally, anger.

"But the work does not stop here and let me stress we are not going to give up. A positive media reaction across television, radio and online is only the start and we continue to take stock towards our next moves. What is clear is that basketball has never been more united in this country in its desire to succeed."

British Basketball is weighing all options in the immediate aftermath of the announcement, with a pre-scheduled board meeting on Monday now set to focus on where they go from here.

"We will have discussions with relevant parties in the next few days to press our case and seek a long-term solution," Moreland added. "Nothing has been ruled out. It is pleasing to see the support at political level with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Basketball holding an extraordinary session next week. We thank them for their unflinching support for basketball."

Moreland encouraged fans to write to their MP to protest UK Sport's "no compromise" policy with regards to its results-focused model which British Basketball feels unfairly puts team sports at a significant disadvantage.

"Let me assure you that as a sport, we are not going away," he added. "We will fight on. We will succeed."

UK Sport cut the funding after Britain's men's and women's teams failed to meet their targets in last summer's EuroBaskets - targets set out when basketball won an appeal against a funding cut this time last year.

UK Sport said that it saw little hope of Britain becoming competitive in time to challenge for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but that view was challenged by world governing body FIBA in a statement supporting British Basketball.

"We are very disappointed that UK Sport has decided to remove all funding for British Basketball in the lead-up to Rio 2016," said FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann, a member of the International Olympic Committee.

"While their approach of attributing funds to the sports they believe have the most medal prospects in 2016 make sense, they must understand that getting value for their investment in basketball will happen but that this takes more time - as it does generally for team sports.

"Given the proper funds, we are confident that British Basketball can build on an already good base and achieve medal potential for Tokyo 2020."

Baumann played a direct role in British Basketball's appeal against last year's funding cuts.

Basketball was one of several sports to lose funding after UK Sport's latest review, along with synchronised swimming, water polo and weightlifting.

Several sports were given an increase in funding with the big winner being triathlon, whose money went up from £5.5million to £7.5million, a 36 per cent increase. Others with increased funding include canoeing, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, sailing, shooting and taekwondo.

Sports whose funding was reduced are swimming and badminton, while all others sports' money remained the same.

In Paralympic sport, funding was withdrawn from five-a-side football, goalball and wheelchair fencing, while para-canoe received the biggest increase.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree