BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Joel Freeland and his Great Britain teammates are looking at difficult times without UK Sport funding |
British Basketball received the shocking news on Tuesday that it will receive no funding during the next four years from UK Sport, the British state sports agency.
The governing body of basketball in Great Britain has not been allocated any amount from the Lottery fund, the main source of income for most sports federations in the country, until the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The basketball federation was allocated 8.5 million GBP from that budget in the run up to the London Olympics.
"This is a devastating decision and is a waste of that investment," said British Basketball chairman Roger Moreland.
UK Sport has cited the fact that neither the men's or women's national teams won a medal at London 2012 as the reason for the decision.
The agency has allocated a total of £347 million (approximately 427 million Euros) to a wide variety of sports, citing its priority as getting 'the right resources, to the right athletes, for the right reasons,' according to a UK Sport spokesperson.
Federations of other team sports that also failed to come close to the podium at the London Games, such as volleyball and water polo, will not see their funding axed.
Badminton, archery, fencing and weightlifting will also continue to receive funding.
"Over the last five years, the GB teams have done the equivalent of going from League Two in football to the Premier League," Moreland said in an effort to put the situation into perspective.
"We 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."
Several Great Britain players, such as Andy Betts and Robert Archibald, have also expressed their frustration about the decision.
|"Sad news that GB Basketball will have it's funding cut so severely," Robert Archibald |
"Sad news that GB Basketball will have it's funding cut so severely," Archibald posted on his twitter account.
British Basketball has made huge efforts in recent years in major urban areas towards integrating youngsters of less favourable social backgrounds, that usually find it difficult to take up a sport.
There will be an annual review later in the year and British Basketball has confirmed it will try to overturn the decision.
"We have only been informed of this decision today [Tuesday] and we will need to take stock of what we do going forward," Moreland said.
"The first thing we will be doing is appealing this decision. There seems to be a huge gap in the funding system for sports such as basketball.
"There is a fantastic talent pool in this country which comes from different parts of the community than the majority of sports that UK Sport supports.
"They (these talented players) deserve better," he added.