Basketball Wales has confirmed it will end its long-time resistance to joining England and Scotland in a revamped British Basketball structure.

Its board has confirmed its decision to join in a Great Britain set-up from 2016 onwards, claiming it is “in the long term interest of the game in Wales and would result in strengthening our working relationships with all our key stakeholders, potential for new funding streams, increased participation and improvements in standards across players, coaches and officials.”

The move has come amid strong and concerted pressure from FIBA who have stated that the three home nations will lose their separated membership of the world governing body in two years time.

If Wales had continued to opt out from the planned federal pyramid, it would have left the nation in potential limbo for both playing and for government funding.

“Our signing up to the British Basketball Project will lead to potential for greater investment in to grass routes projects that will give better opportunities for you and future members to take part in the game,” said Justin Ogleby, the chairman of Basketball Wales, in a statement to members.

“The governance of the sport in Wales will remain in the hands of Basketball Wales at all levels including the National teams.

“You as a member will feel the benefit of our collaboration from joint projects to improve standards of competition, coaching and officiating across Wales. The changes will be mainly to how our national teams operate and to our membership of FIBA. Through our partnership with the other members of the British Basketball Federation, there will be greater opportunities for the sport to benefit from the commercial opportunities that British Basketball brings. It also expands the potential for our top players, coaches and officials to perform at the highest levels of the sport.

“Opportunities will be created for Wales to compete once a new competition structure has been introduced by FIBA in 2017.”

It comes as a deal is struck to re-start funding for the Great Britain national teams through monies from Sport England and advisory support from UK Sport.

A number of Welsh-based players have represented Great Britain women in recent years, although basketball in the Principality has slumped over the past decade with a lack of funding from Sport Wales and a lack of a professional men’s team.

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