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The British Basketball Federation (BBF) has missed out on funding from UK Sport’s ‘Aspiration Fund’, a new pot announced in October for sports that do not currently receive investment from the elite funding body for potential Tokyo 2020 medal success.
With the Senior Men already out of the running for Tokyo, it means UK Sport does not believe there is a high likelihood of the Great Britain Senior Women qualifying for the Olympics in 2020, which would require a strong performance at next summer’s EuroBasket Women.
However, the BBF is likely to receive some funding from a £118,496 pot set aside by UK Sport for qualification games, and did already receive allocation of a unique £500,000 funding pot in May; an amount more than any of the sports who were funded in the Aspiration Fund will receive.
In addition, UK Sport will reappraise the qualification potential of the Women’s team should they achieve qualification through EuroBasket Women in June 2019.
“Naturally we are disappointed not to receive this additional funding to support our successful GB Women’s basketball team in their bid to qualify for Tokyo 2020 and in their ambitions to develop basketball at community level,” Maurice Watkins CBE, BBF Chair commented.
“However, we remain optimistic about our chances of a successful European Championships. We are looking forward to our follow-up meeting with UK Sport to agree additional support from the remaining funds, and we welcome the news that our qualification potential will be reappraised with the opportunity for more support after the European Championships.”
Fourteen sports will receive money from the Aspiration Fund, including badminton, fencing and table tennis and new Olympic sports skateboarding, surfing and softball. Find the full list here.
Players and the GB Senior Women’s Head Coach have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment at the news:
I’m just gonna put it out there, i am sick & tired of this funding BS. Our team IS worth it, and i BELIEVE we have a chance of doing something great w/ the group we have. Let’s continue to work hard and stay focussed and not be side tracked w/ all this nonsense & lack of support
— Joey Leedham-Warner OLY (@joey_leedham13) December 7, 2018
— Rachael Vanderwal OLY (@rachvanderwal) December 7, 2018
It is hard to believe the absence of well deserved funding for @gbbasketball Women after very successful campaign in Eurobasket qualification on the road to Olympic Games. Lack of respect for these elite athletes who are a great example of ambition, perseverance and excellence!
— Jose Maria Buceta (@chemabuceta) December 8, 2018
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