Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch has arranged an “emergency summit” to discuss British basketball funding next week, BBC Sport reports.
It follows increasing pressure from the public and politicans alike around the way National Lottery funding is distributed after it’s been revealed the Great Britain Senior Men’s team will be forced to withdraw from the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers if they can’t find £70,000 before June; leading to a cascade of events that could put the sport back almost a decade.
“We need to remember that the people we fund are the most likely to win medals and that’s something that UK Sport has done incredibly successfully,” Crouch told the BBC.
“However, basketball is an incredibly important sport and it does a great deal of social good, it inspires people in very urban communities to participate in sport and its important that they do see a pathway into being able to represent the country.
“And with that in mind I am hosting an emergency summit to try to bring all the parties together so that we can have some sort of solution to the issue around funding.”
Commenting on the meeting, CEO of British Basketball Lisa Wainwright said:
“We are pleased that the Minister has called this crucial meeting and we very much hope that sense can prevail and a funding solution can be found to support elite Basketball, both in the immediate and longer term.
“The unique reach and appeal of Basketball is becoming increasingly understood and I believe the Minister also sees what our sport can offer. Everyone knows that without a funding solution we will have to pull our senior teams from international competition. This would be a disaster for our sport and the hundreds of thousands of young people who play Basketball. As I have said, I just hope that sense can prevail.”
And Alex Sobel MP – Chair of the APPG Basketball who called the recent Parliamentary debate added:
“After the debate on the future of Basketball where Tracey Crouch committed to finding a way forward and the positive meeting of Parliamentarians with Katherine Grainger. I am delighted that Tracey has called this summit on the Future of Basketball to find a way forward for the GB Teams.”
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