Issued on behalf of British Basketball
British Basketball’s Performance Chairman Roger Moreland has issued an open letter to the sport in the UK. In it, he thanks basketball’s many supporters for their reaction to the news of UK Sport’s zero funding.
It reads as follows:
Yesterday was a tough day for all of us. It came as a considerable shock that our funding was cut completely by UK Sport and judging by the reactions from social media, it was the same for you.
24 hours after the announcement, I wanted to take the time to thank you for your support. The level and depth of that support was heart-warming and was a great comfort to the players, staff and officials at all levels. I suspect your emotions mirrored mine which moved from disappointment, into frustration and finally, anger.
But the work does not stop here and let me stress we are not going to give up. A positive media reaction across television, radio and online is only the start and we continue to take stock towards our next moves. What is clear is that basketball has never been more united in this country in its desire to succeed.
It is clear that the UK Sport funding system does not work for team sports or emerging sports. There is a huge chasm from participation to winning medals for sports like ours to breach. That has to change. We will have discussions with relevant parties in the next few days to press our case and seek a long term solution. Nothing has been ruled out.
It is pleasing to see the support at political level with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Basketball holding an extraordinary session next week. We thank them for their unflinching support for basketball.
We also thank FIBA for their considerable support. We welcome and we are grateful for Secretary-General Patrick Baumann’s public backing earlier today.
We will keep you posted on progress and, in the meantime, a good first step would be for you to write to your local MP about this situation and the need for change to the funding system so that sports like basketball that have shown they can progress on the world stage, can be given the chance to do so.
Let me assure you that as a sport, we are not going away.
We will fight on.
We will succeed.
About British Basketball
British Basketball has been in existence since December 2007, tasked with the objective of steering the Great Britain men’s and women’s basketball teams through to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Just a few months later in 2008, the senior men’s team qualified for Division A of Eurobasket with players of world-class pedigree such as Luol Deng and Pops Mensah-Bonsu. British Basketball also launched its first high performance strategy to create a single coherent pathway to develop talented youngsters across Britain and to grow the game. In 2010, both Standard Life GB teams qualified for EuroBasket 2011. The GB women went on to make history, in their first ever appearance, as they reached the second round of the championship, the furthest any GB team has gone in the competition.
In 2012, both men’s and women’s GB Basketball teams competed at the London Olympics for the first time since 1948. Playing in their first Olympic Games ever, the GB women were not able to register a victory but they won many admirers en route, giving a good account of themselves through some painfully narrow defeats against the world’s elite. The GB men signed off their London 2012 campaign with their first Olympic victory since 1948, against China following a series of competitive clashes verses basketball’s powerhouses.
In 2013, both teams continued their progression at EuroBasket. The GB women again reached the second round of Europe’s top basketball championship and made history in delivering the best-ever finish for any Great Britain team at EuroBasket, with wins over Serbia Latvia and Croatia. The GB men produced morale-boosting wins over Israel and Germany and further cemented their place among Europe’s elite. In addition, the GB U20 men’s team showed the growing depth within British basketball by qualifying for Division A of the European Championship for the first time.
UK Sport is the nation’s high-performance sports agency. Its mission is to work in partnership to lead sport in the UK to world class success. Primarily this means working with our partner sporting organisations to deliver medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. UK Sport’s strategic direction helped British sports and athletes deliver 65 Olympic and 120 Paralympic medals at London 2012. UK Sport also has responsibility for activities best delivered at a UK level, such as: bidding for and staging major sporting events in this country; increasing sporting activity and influence overseas; and promoting sporting conduct, ethics and diversity in society. UK Sport is funded by a mix of Government Exchequer and Lottery income. More at www.uksport.gov.uk