BBF Backs Plan Urging UK Sport Funding Review -

BBF Backs Plan Urging UK Sport Funding Review

The British Basketball Federation (BBF) has teamed up with 10 other sports without UK Sport funding as they seek to ‘instigate an urgent, thorough review of how Olympic and Paralympic funding decisions are taken’.

It was announced in December 2016 that British Basketball would receive no funding from UK Sport in the Tokyo 2020 cycle and the ‘Ten for Tokyo’ campaign was launched shortly after.

“Whilst we welcome the current support we receive for our British programmes from our funding partners, we need a longer term commitment and greater investment for us to deliver sustainable British programmes,” said Interim Chair of British Basketball, Ian Curryer.

“With the recent addition of 3×3 Basketball to the Olympic programme we now have two Olympic disciplines for Basketball giving greater opportunity for British teams to compete at the Olympics.

“A change in the process for the distribution of National Lottery funding by UK Sport would give us much greater scope to allow our British teams to reach their full potential.”

There are now 11 sports involved: Archery GB, BaseballSoftball UK, British Fencing, British Handball, British Volleyball, British Weightlifting, British Wrestling, Badminton England, GB Wheelchair Rugby and Table Tennis England alongside British Basketball.

Dame Katherine Grainger takes up her position as the new UK Sport Chair next week and the aforementioned National Governing Bodies believe it is the right time to push for change.

The ‘Every Sport Matters’ manifesto from the 11 sports includes the following:

The existing approach to National Lottery funding of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports has been conspicuously successful in winning medals, but has disenfranchised many of the country’s elite sportsmen and women, creating a two-class system that runs counter to Olympic ideals.

At London 2012, UK Sport initially funded 18 of out of a total of 26 Olympic sports (70%). In 2016, out of 28 Olympic sports, UK Sport funded 18 (64%). For Tokyo, they will fund 16 sports out of 33 (48%). Where will this approach end?

UK Sport has appointed a new Chair, which presents an ideal opportunity for her to conduct an urgent, thorough review of the funding agency’s objectives for Tokyo 2020 and the Games that follow. At the heart of a revised purpose should be a celebration of Olympism and Paralympism as ends in themselves.

Providing opportunities for elite British athletes in all relevant sports to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics need not run counter to the pursuit of medals, and will make the nation even prouder of TeamGB’s and ParaGB’s triumphs.

One of the main reasons for the call for change is the way funding is largely determined by the chance of medalling. With the Every Sport Matters campaign they believe that no sport should be without funding.

The campaign continues GB’s battle with UK Sport for funding, which was immediately cut after 2012. The decision was reversed the following year before funding was cut again in 2014.

In February, the BBF announced they had secured £1,000,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to support its programmes this year.

Further reading – Eleven UK sports ‘thrown under bus’ on funding call for changes – BBC Sport

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