For Episode 45 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with British basketball researcher Jeff Skinner who has recently completed his masters dissertation on basketball funding in England and its impact on the sport’s development.
The dissertation, which you can read in full here, is 94 pages of pure gold for anyone interested in basketball’s history in England, especially around funding, both from public and private sources.
A former accountant, Skinner now helps run his own local league club, the Aztecs, in Berkshire and helps out with Bracknell Cobras, and has spent the past year of his life going above and beyond to go in-depth the topic, putting together one of the best pieces of British basketball related research I’ve read.
In this 1 hour and 20 minute episode, hear from Jeff on:
His background and local club, the Aztecs in Berkshire
How the opportunity to do a masters in the history of sport came about
Why he chose to focus on basketball and how he came upon the final topic of funding’s impact on the sport’s development
How shocked he was to find out just how many people play basketball in England
The most interesting things he discovered whilst doing his research
What has helped and restricted basketball’s growth over the years
How basketball compares to other sports with regards to funding
Why basketball has struggled to be able to get public funding
The administration’s governance failures over the years
The attraction of basketball to commercial sponsors back in the day
The Outdoor Basketball Initiative that tipped off in 1995 and impact it had
Why being able to more accurately measure participation helps basketball’s cause
Not having people in high ranking leadership/government positions hurting the sport
Why increasing Basketball England’s membership fee might be one of the easiest ways to raise more money
The importance of television
The inception of the BBL as a breakaway league from the NBL
The NTL TV deal for the BBL and its potential to change the game before going bust
Why the sport needs to sort out its political in-fighting
Why he believes being represented as Great Britain is the correct choice moving forward and how important National Team success is
Why more money needs to be put into participation as opposed to elite sport/potential medal success, along with changing the definition of success
The organisations that were helpful with his research, and the ones who weren’t
And much, much more!
As always, I’d love to get your feedback, come back after you’ve listened and lets get some discussion going in the comments.
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