UK Sport have launched a public consultation on its future funding strategy in a move that has been backed by British Basketball.
A unique funding package was provided to enable GB to compete in the upcoming FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, as announced in May, but basketball has long been disregarded when it comes to funding from UK Sport.
Their medals-based ‘no-compromise’ policy has received criticism and UK Sport’s consultation will see members of the public, along with stakeholders in national governing bodies, grassroots sport and athletes, politicians and the media invited to take part before decisions are made later this year.
“British Basketball very much welcomes this public consultation on UK Sport future funding strategy,” said British Basketball Interim Chairman, Ed Warner. “We will be playing a full and constructive role in the process and would urge the many thousands who make up the basketball community in the UK to do the same.
“Basketball is the second most popular team sport for 11-15 years olds, it resonates with many hard to reach groups in society and our national teams have very strong ethnic diversity.
“We will be putting together GB Basketball’s response in the coming weeks and I’m sure it will recommend that the inspirational impact of GB teams on youngsters playing our sport is given due weight in deciding the allocation of public funds.”
GB Senior captain, Kieron Achara, added: “Basketball is a sport that reaches young people like few others and it is also a sport proud of its ethnic diversity. The senior GB Men’s squad is a case in point with 75% coming from ethnic groups.
“I do a lot of work with young kids and I know they look up to me because of what I have achieved. Although I’m in the twilight of my playing career, I really hope this review can be an opportunity to put in place the funding and structures necessary to ensure elite Basketball in the UK achieves its huge potential because the talent is there, no question.”
Questions to be considered include:
– How sports and athletes are prioritised for future investment, whether that is athletes with the strongest medal potential regardless of whether they are Olympic or Paralympic, summer or winter
– Sports with the greatest public access to participation or those with the widest social reach and impact
– How to ensure there continues to be parity given to Paralympic as well as Olympic sport; summer and winter
– How best to utilise funded athletes as community and national role models; how to balance support for lesser-funded minority or developing sports with funding for those with larger commercial potential
– Whether to target other sports beyond the Olympic and Paralympic stable.
UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger said: “The success of the UK’s high performance sport system since the advent of National Lottery funding in the 1990s has been nothing short of remarkable. The challenge now is how we build on that success, aiming for even more inspirational impact on the UK as a whole.
“Financially there will always be a limit to the public funding available, whether that is National Lottery or exchequer funding and so that means there are no easy answers when it comes to decisions.
“What is clear is that the UK Sport Board and I do not come at this with any preconceived conclusions other than that we believe in the power and inspiration of British sport. We look forward to receiving people’s views and welcome what we hope will be a lively, respectful and worthwhile debate.”
Full release here.
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