British Basketball Performance Chairman, Roger Moreland, believes there is a “ray of light” for team sports despite a review of UK Sport giving the agency the green light to keep Olympic medals as its main target.

A public consultation – and political pressure – has led to a minor revision of its ‘no compromise’ stance, opening the door to longer-term investment as well as incorporating levels of participation into its decision-making process.

But basketball, which was hoping that a radical U-turn could pave the way for a restoration of its funding, is among those left wanting more, with Moreland now asking for additional pressure from government circles to alter UK Sport’s stances.

“On the face of it, while it was not the news that team sports were hoping for, I do at least take some comfort from the words of (UK) Minister for Sport, Helen Grant,” he said.

“She has explicitly spoken about her pleasure that UK Sport are at least open to taking the broader value of its investment into account in its funding decisions, and we have to now see how this unfolds and how it can be interpreted.

“This also builds on last year’s comments by the House of Lords’ Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Select Committee in respect of team sports.

“However time is critical and we don’t want basketball, or indeed any team sport in a similar position to us, to lose its star athletes of the future by being unable to give them the Olympic Dream they all deserve.

“The work done by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Basketball rightly highlighted how the sport makes a positive impact on the social challenges faced within deprived communities and provides opportunities for players from those communities to realise their potential. We feel this remains a vital component.”

The report, compiled from a consultation process from sport and the wider public, voiced some criticism of Sport England from an un-named sports governing body over their decision to fund the GB basketball teams with their submission claiming it “is inconsistent and has created confusion.”

However Moreland has defended the deal which all but saved the national sides from extinction after 2015.

“That support is invaluable and needs to be augmented from other sources, so we can maintain the progress achieved in recent years and deliver the success and role models that will motivate young people to play regularly and develop their potential in the future,” he said.

“Our senior women are heading to their third successive EuroBasket Women Final Round tournament this summer and the door to Rio is still open for them.

“We strongly believe we have medal potential for the future, but that means having the foundation in place to support and motivate all of our players and especially those who are at such a critical stage in their formative years.”

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