WESTMINSTER TO DEBATE HOOPS CASH

British Basketball officials are to lobby MPs over funding ahead of a UK Parliamentary debate on the sport later this month.

It has been confirmed that the All-Party Group, now led by Alex Sobel and Lord Wasserman, has been able to secure a 90-minute debate from the Backbench Business Committee on February 20.

The move follows on from a meeting in Westminster last month with representatives from various parties across the political spectrum, plus UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch.

Clubs are also being asked to write to their MPs to attend the session which will focus on the funding, or lack thereof, of basketball.

In an information sheet provided by British Basketball which is being sent to potential attendees, it stresses the massive participation recorded in figures as well as the social impact.

Although UK Sport showing signs of altering their funding strategy following monies provided last week to the likes of badminton and sport climbing, the document states: “Since 2009 Basketball has had £102 of funding per adult participant, less than half the amount of the next highest comparable sport Netball, which had £205 per adult participant, Hockey received £259 per adult participant and Rugby Union £276 per adult participant. These figures only include Sport England funding; if we include Elite funding from UK Sport, the discrepancies are even greater.”

The statistics only take in England’s numbers which are compiled by Sport England. Scotland and Wales do not record such numbers but it is thought it would not hugely shift the arguments made.

“We believe Basketball has a unique case for funding, as it is not just a sport, but also a way to engage disengaged young people, particularly from BAME communities, and offer wider life opportunities, and reduce the potential for involvement in anti-social and criminal activities,” said British Basketball in its statement.

“However, Basketball, especially at the elite level across all age groups, is reaching a crisis point in funding, with zero funding for the elite level of our sport from government on offer from April 2018.

“We believe a change in policy by UK Sport and Sport England is required to ensure a focus not just on Olympic medals, but the holistic opportunities certain sports, and especially Basketball, offer, particularly to our inner cities and our most deprived communities.”

 

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