- National Teams
Whilst everyone else is talking about Team GB’s Eurobasket qualifiers this August and London 2012, British Basketball yesterday announced on their website their continued focus on the ‘T16’ programme; the aim of which is to have both the men’s and women’s teams qualify in their own right for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
Chris Spice, GB’s Performance Director said
“Many people think that our only priority is 2012, and whilst it is a key focus, the real challenge is for British Basketball to secure a lasting legacy from the 2012 Games. We aim to maximise our London Olympic performances so that they lay the foundation for regular world and Olympic participation, increasing the profile of our sport, hosting major basketball events, and further develop the standard of our national leagues and development programmes. We plan to be in high performance basketball for the long-term and this was a major consideration in our original pitch for funding from UK Sport.”
As part of the T16 programme and elevating British basketball to new heights, this year sees several new initiatives come into play to develop elite basketball players in the UK. The first of which will be a select Great Britain men’s futures team that will play in a four-nation tournament in France. A primarily under-23 tournament for men, it is hoped that this will become a regular feature on the GB performance calendar. (This could also be the first time I take the new Hoopsfix van on an extended road trip :))
Another area British Basketball would like to develop is the hosting of major tournaments in the UK; British Basketball has just secured funding for a feasibility study into hosting a Eurobasket tournament in the next Olympic cycle, an opportunity Spice is excited about.
“If we are to become a regular player on the world and European stage then we must also look to stage major basketball events in the UK. We have incredible facilities around the UK for such a tournament, some of which we already use for our home internationals – the O2 and Olympic arena’s in London, the Liverpool Echo Arena, the NIA in Birmingham and it would be great if we could take the game north of the border to Glasgow where a new indoor arena will be built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“We are delighted that we have recently obtained the go-ahead to pursue the prospect of hosting a major basketball event in the UK within the next six years. Personally, I would love to bring the Eurobasket 2015 tournament to the UK – another great example of a London 2012 Olympic legacy. There is much work to be done before we get to bidding for any major tournament, but our partners at UK Sport are assisting us with preparing the ground via a feasibility study which we hope to complete this year.”
Eurobasket 2015 in the UK? Awesome.
To read all the plans British Basketball have as part of the T16 programme, read the full press release at Game On GB.