UK Sport has released further ring-fenced funding for British Basketball to help support Great Britain’s forthcoming international schedule.

In May this year, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed that £500,000 additional new funding would be routed to the British Basketball Federation through UK Sport. An initial investment of £195,000 was provided to British Basketball at the time to ensure GB athletes could compete at important World Cup qualifying games in June and July.

Despite unease at the internal politicking that has seen the three home nations engineer a takeover of the BBF, further funding of £110,570 has now been released to enable the GB basketball teams to compete in two senior women’s and two senior men’s matches in November 2018 and February 2019.

However, the new powers-that-be have been put on notice that they must draft a sustainable model for British basketball moving forwards.

A further instalment of £102,186 will be released in November if British Basketball can demonstrate conditions including a clear commercial plan, a sustainable financial forecast and demonstrating the impact GB teams can have in supporting the wider government sport strategy.

Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, said: “At the request of Government, UK Sport has worked to support British Basketball in finding a solution to enable GB athletes to compete. It is important that British Basketball continues to work to demonstrate it can deliver on its financial, governance and inspirational impact commitments.”

Of the £500,000 funding ring-fenced for British Basketball, a total of £92,224 will remain available to the sport subject to final conditions being met and agreed with UK Sport. Last week, the home nations confirmed a U-turn on scrapping the GB Under-20 squads but will now need to find the extra cash to finance their European Championship programmes.

“We are pleased to receive this additional funding to support GB basketball,” Maurice Watkins, chair of British Basketball Federation, said. “We know that basketball changes lives and enhances communities, and we know from our partners in England, Scotland and Wales just how much basketball is growing in popularity, and what it means to people of all ages.

“This additional financial injection will help us to continue to develop the impact of our sport on people and communities across the country, while allowing our best athletes to continue competing at the highest level. One immediate focus is on our GB women’s squad and their crucial game in Manchester against Greece next month as they attempt to qualify for the 2019 Women’s EuroBasket Tournament. We would encourage the basketball community to get behind the team and show their support.”

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