One of the main reasons that we started Basketball Megastore is that we LOVE the sport of basketball, and we want as many people out there as possible to love it too. We hope that will happen by helping to support basketball community events, supporting local teams, and generally blabbing on about how awesome basketball is.
So imagine how annoyed we were to hear the news that UK Sport have announced that British Basketball will receive NO funding for the next 4 years, in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
What seems even more annoying is that UK Sport announced that they would have a record £347 million in funding available to sport in the run up to 2016. That's 11% more than they had for the run up to 2012. Basketball will not see a single penny of that.
What's even more annoying than that is that netball has seen as funding increase from £6.6 million, to £25.3 million. Football, as if it needs any more of a boost, went up from £4.4 million to £30 million, and equestrian pursuits can look forward to a nice increase from £1.9 million to £6 million.
The Great Britain basketball team had a poor outcome in the 2012 London Olympics in the sense that both the mens and womens teams combined for just a single win. However, the thing that gets over looked is the fact that those teams were there at all, competing against the greatest basketball teams in the world.
British Basketball Chairman, Roger Moreland sums it up by saying: “We knew the criteria that UK Sport were applying for Rio, but having been funded to the tune of £8.5m in the lead up to the London Olympics because of the sport’s medal potential for the future, this is a devastating decision and is a waste of that investment.”
“Over the last five years, the GB teams have done the equivalent of going from League Two in football to the Premier League. They have been competing with the very best countries in the world. It doesn’t seem much of a legacy from 2012 to dash the hopes and aspirations of a sport whose heartland is founded in Britain’s inner cities.”
Moreland said that the decision will be appealed, but yet again we have had a resounding statement from the UK powers that be, that say basketball in this country, doesn't matter.
And we wonder why we can't get NBA games shown on more accessible TV channels, or why the quality of the BBL is far behind that of the rest of Europe. It starts at the grass roots, and the decision makers in the UK fail us at every opportunity.
Feel free to join the rant in the comments below.