- National Teams
With the London 2012 Olympics fast approaching, Hoopsfix decided to ask the question:
The poll has been running on the homepage for a couple of months now and after around 600 votes they provide some interesting data. Just under 60% (57%) of you believe the London 2012 Olympics will make a difference to basketball in the UK, 32% think it won’t make any difference to the state of the game, whilst 11% remain unsure.
The results with vote counts are as follows:
Yes: 331 votes
No: 185 votes
Unsure: 64 votes
Total Votes: 580
A few people have asked me this very question recently, and it pains me that if I answer 100% honestly, the response will generally be a no.
Unless we do something absolutely amazing (i.e. medal), I just can’t see it will make anything change. Yes, there will be more media coverage over the course of the summer (the attention the first day of the Olympic test event got, was unlike anything I have ever seen before), but what happens afterwards?
Basketball will be in front of more people’s eyes than ever before, perhaps thousands more young people decide to take it up. What will be different for them than the thousands before them? The systems, the pathways, the access, the barriers, will all still be exactly the same.
There is no real legacy for basketball. A 7,000 seat handball arena yes, but I remain skeptical about how much it will get used for basketball (and what access there will be year round for teams-will it be free?). We need dedicated basketball facilities-like the Amaechi Basketball Centre, like Nottingham’s Basketball Centre, that teams and players have access to as and when they need.
What will the funding levels be like for basketball after 2012? Will anymore money be invested into the sport if we don’t do something special?
Is there a strategy being drawn up on how to capitalise on this once in a lifetime opportunity by those who have the power? If there is, it should already be in action-I don’t see it.
I don’t see anything changing. It will still take a couple of weekends to get your Level 2 coaching qualification and be deemed ‘qualified’ to be developing our best prospects. It will still cost money for players to get in a gym. Our best players will still have to head abroad to have any chance of a decent professional career. Some of our best coaches will still have to hold down a full time job whilst trying to create a basketball team.
I truly hope that I am made to eat my words, but right now, that is how I’m feeling about the whole thing.
What do you think? Will the Olympics make a difference to the state of the game? Why? Why not?