LOTTERY CASH BOOST FOR BASKETBALL

British Basketball’s financial woes have been eased after it was revealed that the sport is to get £1 million in Lottery funding.

The cash, which will help back Great Britain’s campaign at this summer’s EuroBasket, is to come via Sport England who have propped up the national teams since UK Sport controversially withdrew their support in 2013.

“There is a huge appetite for the game and a common desire to drive the sport to new heights in this country,” said British Basketball’s interim chair, the former Scotland international Bill McInnes.

“We are determined to give the one million children, who play Basketball in schools within England, Scotland and Wales and the 163,800 aged 16 and over, an inspirational programme, whereby they can and want to be the next stars in the British teams.”

The investments comes as part of a package that will see Basketball England receive £4.73m in funding over four years from Sport England, with increasing the availability of courts and pushing up playing numbers as a priority.

Stewart Kellett, CEO of Basketball England, said: “We are delighted with the level of engagement of the basketball community in the build-up to our bid for funds. Their voice and needs have been built into our proposals to help make the game better and support the many volunteers who make basketball happen in local communities.

“We want to improve our current services and support to the basketball community to make the sport even more appealing to a broad base of young people and keep them in the game longer.

“We also want to attract more women and girls to basketball as they are under-represented in participation, coaching and officiating.
“People in the sport tell us they want more profile for basketball and access to more coaches and officials that will raise standards and improve the playing experience in basketball. We want to respond to this and bring the sport to the forefront of the nation.”

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