This decision by the government needs to be questioned and discussed further because the advantages and positives of basketball are enormous.
Why take away funding which would benefit so many? UK Sport does not believe Team GB would win a medal at the next Olympics. That might be true, but surely they are not considering the numerous other factors which the sport brings.
70% of all participants are under the age of 25, which means any up and coming talent we have will seemingly not have a chance to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio or the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. It seems UK Sport is basing their decision on current performance and hasn’t looked at all the hard work being put in by county coaches all over the country.
The bigger picture shows volunteers dedicating their time and effort making sure this sport continues to run. With funding being cut it will filter down to the junior teams and even to local leagues in Nottinghamshire. Talent simply cannot be nourished to its full potential without an organised system in place.
Furthermore, obesity continues to be a worrying problem in this country. Millions of pounds will be spent on research and campaigns to encourage people to exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Playing a team sport, such as basketball, is a great way to stay healthy and keep active.
All over the world basketball is one of the most popular team sports. The only difference between the UK and several other countries is that those countries will continue to pour money into the sport to help it grow and succeed. It seems UK Sport has lost confidence in basketball after London 2012 and invested in sports which they thought would have more of a chance of a medal.
Basketball can continue to grow in this country even without the funding from UK Sport. It will take investment and a re-structure but it shouldn’t be out of the question. It may take some time to recover from the financial blow which UK Sport has dealt basketball, but with the right people who have the same goal basketball still has a bright future in the UK. All we have to do is work as a team.