- National Teams
The BBL, WBBL, and Basketball England will receive £4million to protect their immediate futures over the winter period as part of the government’s £300million ‘Sports Winter Survival Package’ announced today.
The national governing body’s NBL clubs will receive a quarter of that sum, with the other £3million going to the BBL and WBBL clubs. It is believed the amount is equal to what the sport requested as part of their own submission.
Full details on how funding will be distributed and the application process, will be announced by Sport England in due course. It is expected that the first tranche of funding will be distributed in the coming weeks.
Matt Neville, chair of Basketball England said:
“This is fantastic news for the whole sport of basketball. Clubs are right at the heart of communities right across the country and have been suffering like many so others have during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We welcome and are grateful for the financial assistance that the Government is providing and are sure it will be a massive boost for us and our clubs, allowing them to continue to play this season and protect jobs and livelihoods.
“It will also help basketball carry on with the great work done to support their communities, many already suffering hardship, as we work through the challenges of the pandemic with this vital support.”
BBL chair Sir Rodney Walker added:
“We are very pleased with the announcement by the Minister for Sport, Nigel Huddleston MP, today. Our league was hit very hard last season by the Covid-19 pandemic, causing us to have to curtail the season, to the great disappointment of our clubs, players and fans.
“DCMS did give us the confidence to start the 2020/21 season a few weeks ago, with a commitment of support, and we are particularly pleased with the level now confirmed.
“Our clubs have worked extremely hard to mitigate the impact of loss of spectators at our events, and sadly that has included job losses.
“With no certainty of when spectators can return, the announcement today ensures we can now go forward with some confidence, and continue our competitions and our planning for when we can welcome fans back to games.
“It will also be very important to ensuring the clubs’ vital community engagement programmes will be able to continue with confidence, giving the stability this provides overall to the clubs, their Foundations, and the sport in general.”
However, Hoopsfix understands the funding will be a combination of grants and loans, meaning cash-strapped basketball will need to pay a portion of it back. The details of how it will be split are still being clarified.
“Sports clubs are the beating hearts of their communities, and this £300 million boost will help them survive this difficult winter period,” Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said.
“We promised to stand by sports when we had to postpone fans returning. We are doing just that by delivering another £300 million on top of existing business support schemes.
“Britain is a sports powerhouse, and this Government will do everything we can to help our precious sports and clubs make it through covid.”
DCMS also added that each sport will need to go through an application process to access the support they are eligible for under the final design of the scheme and so the final amount received by each sport/organisation may differ from the amounts set out above when final decisions are made by an independent decision-making board, and supported by Sport England.