Sport England have announced they will invest an additional £2.3million of funding for basketball from 2013-2017, but in a major blow to the national governing body, it will go to independent providers of the sport, not England Basketball.
The British Basketball League’s community arm, the BBL Foundation, will receive £1.9million, and Reach & Teach, who will receive £418,000, are amongst the new benefactors, whilst England Basketball will see a reduced investment.
The money is part of plans for future investment in six key sports and “illustrate a new, tougher approach to ensure that millions of people across the country who play sport, and the volunteers who support them, get the maximum impact from Sport England’s investments.”
In a statement released on Sport England’s website this morning, they said:
“Taking a new ‘mixed economy’ approach to delivery of basketball, Sport England is increasing the overall investment earmarked for this sport, committing an additional £2.3 million between 2013 and 2017. This is in recognition of its wide appeal to young people and its ethnically diverse participation base.
“However, Sport England is not confident in England Basketball’s ability to increase the numbers of people playing the sport, so has reduced its investment into the national governing body (NGB). At the same time it will invest in other providers including the British Basketball League Foundation and Reach and Teach in a bid to strengthen the marketplace and support alternative ways to get more people playing basketball.”
“There are some tough messages here for national governing bodies,” said Sport England Chief Executive, Jennie Price. “If they don’t grow participation we will reduce their funding, and we won’t make long term investments until we have confidence in their ability to deliver.
“This is exemplified by our new approach to basketball: increasing our investment to over £9 million, but reducing our reliance on the national governing body and investing more in community organisations with a strong track record of local delivery.”
It is a scathing message to the sports administrators, with the Minister for Sport Helen Grant adding, “…the message to underperforming sports governing bodies is clear – if you can’t deliver, then funding will be taken away and given to projects and people that can.”
Since the announcement, England Basketball have released their own statement to the press, remaining positive, despite the obvious blow:
“It is encouraging that Sport England recognises the potential in basketball and is committing more funding to the sport as a whole. We are confident in our case to access the additional £2.8 million that has been earmarked for the sport.
“Over the last year we have developed strong relationships with the wider basketball market – such as Reach and Teach and British Basketball League Foundation – and we look forward to working together to deliver a bright future for basketball.
“While England Basketball is disappointed not to have received more direct investment, we understand that investment decision-making is based on performance during 2013 when we were undergoing significant organisational changes and the sport was managed by a different administration.
“We have been working closely with Sport England over the last year to radically reform our governance and leadership structure. We have eight new Board members and a new Chief Executive in Huw Morgan who started in November.
“We have invested in better understanding of the market place in order to be more effective in meeting the needs of basketball participants. We have developed research-based insights to enable us to reach the informal player; established satellite clubs for young people in inner city areas; and built strong relationships with local authority operators like the Greenwich Leisure Ltd who want to promote basketball to more people.
“We are confident that our initiatives will realise even more participants and enable greater numbers of young talent to achieve their potential. “
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