SAY YES TO 2012, URGE BRITISH CHIEFS

British Basketball is bidding to gather public support to aid the country’s bid for a place at the London 2012 Olympics.

With just two weeks until FIBA vote on the issue, the ‘Say Yes’ campaign is touring around several major cities this week in tow with a giant basketball jersey.

It coincides with Basketball Week, the joint initiative between British Basketball, the BBL and the NBA which will also see a series of grassroots events in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Newcastle.

Schoolkids are being asked to sign up and Say Yes (wooller.com)

“FIBA is well aware of the recent outstanding performances of our GB teams, and also the commitment of everyone in our federations to the future growth of the game in Britain,” said BBF chairman Bill McInnes.

“However I think this campaign is an excellent opportunity for individuals across the country to show how much they want GB basketball teams to be part of the London Olympics next year.”

Historically the Olympic host nation has received automatic qualification for their teams to enter their Olympic Games. However, these regulations changed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 resulting in the ultimate decision resting with FIBA.  The vote will be held on March 13 in Lyon.

The public are being asked to sign the giant jersey as a show of support for a place at London 2012. It mades its first appearances in Newcastle and Manchester and will visit London’s Covent Garden and The 02 Arena later this week.

Patrick Baumann, Secretary-General of FIBA was encouraged by the campaign leading up to the vote.

“I’m very pleased to see that British Basketball is doing its utmost to lobby for the upcoming decision and to try and make FIBA understand how deep the involvement of the people in basketball is and how much they want to see the GB teams play at the Olympic Games,” he said.

“Anything they do in this respect deserves a lot of credit and appreciation from FIBA and of course I hope the feedback from the people in Britain will be overwhelmingly positive given that basketball has such an amazing opportunity.”

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