Chris Spice is stepping down from his role as British Basketball’s Performance Director to join British Swimming in the same role from April.
The Australian, with a background in hockey, leaves GB amidst increasing criticism from the British basketball community having left no tangible legacy from £8.5m in funding over the 2012 Cycle and a GB Senior Men and Women’s team going a combined 1-9 at the London Olympics.
Whilst British Basketball still has their funding amount for the 2016 Cycle to be decided after successfully appealing a decision to cut it to zero, British Swimming is to receive more than £25m pounds over the next four years (£21.3 for swimming, £4.3 for synchronised swimming).
“This is a big opportunity for me and my experience working with basketball for the last six years has given me valuable insight into the organisation and structure required to improve sporting performance,” said Spice in a statement released by British Basketball. “I hope I can make a difference to British Swimming.”
Meanwhile, Chairman Roger Moreland said personnel changes are to be expected.
“Personnel changes occur constantly in all organisations and the key is to use it as an opportunity to kick on to greater things. British Basketball will be no exception,” he said today. “We aspire to win medals consistently in international championships in the future and we are focussed on making that aspiration a reality.
“We know how important a performance focus is to UK Sport as well and we want to justify the faith they have had in our sport. Following last week’s funding decision, we will be wasting no time in our pursuit of the very best Head Coaches to take the GB teams into their respective EuroBaskets this summer.
“We will also be looking at how we will replace Chris and will work closely with UK Sport to ensure we are as well positioned as we possibly can be to deal with the challenges ahead.”
UK Sport’s Performance Director, Simon Timson, spoke positively about the future for British Basketball.
“It is important to have a real focus on performance in any sport to achieve international success,” he said. “British Basketball has moved from the backwaters of the international game to compete with the very best in the sport. Their task now is to win consistently in competition against the very best and we will work closely with British Basketball to support their efforts to maintain and enhance the focus they have on raising the level of performance through putting in place the best possible people to lead their drive for Rio.”
More to come.