British Basketball is to get £75,000 from UK Sport in a second wave of awards from its new Aspiration Fund.

The sport lost out initially in November 2018 when 14 Olympic and Paralympic sports received the first wave of shares at the launch of the £3 million pot of cash to help support their ambitions to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Basketball’s initial application to access funding was rejected in December after UK Sport’s assessment that the likelihood of a Great Britain team qualifying for the Olympics in 2020 was unlikely to be achieved.

However, £118,496 of the initial fund was held back by UK Sport and the largest chunk – as expected – has now been earmarked for basketball, a contribution expected to be be pushed largely towards preparations for FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019.

Maurice Watkins CBE, Chair of the BBF said: “I want to express my thanks to UK Sport for their latest show of support. This news is another step forward for basketball and whilst we were disappointed to miss out during the initial allocation from the Aspiration Fund, we are pleased to have now been awarded additional financial assistance as our teams gear up for an exciting 2019.”

Sitting Volleyball, Baseball and Wrestling will also benefit from the Aspiration Fund while Fencing, Wheelchair Fencing and Boccia will receive additional investment as part of the Annual Review process.

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport said: “We are delighted that we are able to reach more sports and athletes through our Aspiration Fund investments as we have looked to make the £3 million from Government stretch as far as possible. ”

In November the GB Women’s team qualified for this summer’s EuroBasket finals, jointly hosted by Serbia and Latvia. GB have been drawn in Group A with defending champions Spain, as well as co-hosts Latvia and Ukraine.

“We believe 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,” said Watkins. “We will continue to work together to strengthen our sport’s financial position and to strengthen our ability to perform at the highest level.”

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