Basketball England and Scotland have called for extra backing to keep indoor facilities available.

Although some facilities in England and Wales have re-opened, many courts remain off-limits due to re-purposing for gyms or other uses to comply with coronavirus measures.

The Scottish Government has signalled mid-September as the earliest date for indoor sport to commence again but there have been warnings from bodies throughout Britain that the entire sector is in a state of vulnerability with escalating costs and a shift in user patterns due to social distancing putting centres at risk – and threatening the infrastructure in place for basketball and other sports.

And with many school and university facilities set to remain out of bounds until past the autumn, help is urgently required.

“We call on the Government to offer real support and and guidance to make sure basketball and other indoor sports have access to the facilities they so desperately need both in leisure centre and education sector settings,” said Basketball England’s chief executive Stewart Kellett.

“Around 1.2million people play our sport, many from among the most disadvantaged communities in the UK. Basketball and other indoor sports have done a huge amount of work to provide safe, well-researched Return To Play strategies and basketball’s is among those already approved by Government, but we now have another challenge – getting access to the playing venues.

“Now we need action to give venue operators the guidance and confidence to unblock access so our sport’s diverse and vibrant community of players, coaches and clubs can get back to playing.

“On behalf the nation’s second largest team sport, we urge government to act to make sure we continue to thrive and provide opportunities to boost physical and mental health.”

Basketball Scotland added its name to a joint submission to the Scottish Government calling for greater certainty on re-opening.

“As a sector, we are disappointed that the indicative timescale for a return to sport is not sooner,” it said. “We have submitted evidence in mitigation of any risk to public health and ask for clarification as to what more compelling information is required to ensure our sports can return to activity and competition within the indicative dates given.”



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