- National Teams
Sport England have awarded Basketball England £4.73million in funding over the next four year cycle, covering the 2017-21 period.
The funding is based on a bid to improve accessibility to – and participation in – the sport over the course of the next four years and beyond, focusing on the sport’s strong appeal to young people, people on lower incomes and people from black, asian and ethnic minority communities.
More importantly, it marks a move away from the short-term conditional funding the governing body has been on in recent years, allowing longer term planning.
“We are delighted with the level of engagement of the basketball community in the build-up to our bid for funds,” CEO of Basketball England, Stewart Kellett, said.
“Their voice and needs have been built into our proposals to help make the game better and support the many volunteers who make basketball happen in local communities.
“We want to improve our current services and support to the basketball community to make the sport even more appealing to a broad base of young people and keep them in the game longer.
“We also want to attract more women and girls to basketball as they are under-represented in participation, coaching and officiating.
“People in the sport tell us they want more profile for basketball and access to more coaches and officials that will raise standards and improve the playing experience in basketball. We want to respond to this and bring the sport to the forefront of the nation.”
Sport England funding to sport announced including £17m to netball, £12.5 to rugby, £8m to tennis & £5m football pic.twitter.com/kXJhUSSeSJ
— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) February 6, 2017
Basketball England will be using the funding to address the challenges of finding a good quality, outdoor court or affordable indoor facility by working with social basketball providers to use their courts as activity sites for more people. The national governing body will also join forces with facilities operators to make even better use of available court time and increase the number of people playing.
They also want to develop more opportunities for clubs to develop and link with new, extra-curricular playing opportunities with schools, colleges and universities.
Based on the consultation, regional roadshows, conclusion of the Basketball Development Model (BDM) research and engagement of the basketball community, Basketball England will be publishing a four-year strategic plan in May 2017 and a one-year action plan.
In March, Basketball England have also said they are looking forward to two additional funding announcements, one relating to our talent development programmes for the next four years and the other will relate to the support for training and preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
— Phil Smith (@philsm) February 6, 2017
Over the last Sport England funding cycle, £6.75m was initially earmarked for basketball, but £3.3million of that was held back to be released on a year by year conditional basis.
In 2014 the government funding body announced they would be funnelling £2.3million more into basketball, but to independent providers of basketball after losing faith in Basketball England’s ability to deliver increased participation.
Since then, the governing body’s relationship with Sport England has improved with the hiring of CEO Stewart Kellett last year, as he aims to spearhead a mass overhaul of the sport in England.