'Fantastic news' - Government announces financial support for basketball

Basketball England is delighted with the support announced today for basketball by the Government.  

The Government has announced a rescue package of up to £4m for the sport to address the impact of the absence of spectators because of Covid-19. 

Around £3m of it will go to the British Basketball League (BBL) and Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL), with the remainder assigned to Basketball England and its men’s and women’s NBL clubs. 

Full details on how funding will be distributed and the application process, will be announced by Sport England in due course. It is expected that the first tranche of funding will be distributed in the coming weeks. 

Matt Neville, chair of Basketball England said: 

“This is fantastic news for the whole sport of basketball. Clubs are right at the heart of communities right across the country and have been suffering like many so others have during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

“We welcome and are grateful for the financial assistance that the Government is providing and are sure it will be a massive boost for us and our clubs, allowing them to continue to play this season and protect jobs and livelihoods.  

“It will also help basketball carry on with the great work done to support their communities, many already suffering hardship, as we work through the challenges of the pandemic with this vital support.” 

BBL chair Sir Rodney Walker said: 

“We are very pleased with the announcement by the Minister for Sport, Nigel Huddleston MP, today. Our league was hit very hard last season by the Covid-19 pandemic, causing us to have to curtail the season, to the great disappointment of our clubs, players and fans. 

“DCMS did give us the confidence to start the 2020/21 season a few weeks ago, with a commitment of support, and we are particularly pleased with the level now confirmed. 

“Our clubs have worked extremely hard to mitigate the impact of loss of spectators at our events, and sadly that has included job losses. 

“With no certainty of when spectators can return, the announcement today ensures we can now go forward with some confidence, and continue our competitions and our planning for when we can welcome fans back to games. 

“It will also be very important to ensuring the clubs’ vital community engagement programmes will be able to continue with confidence, giving the stability this provides overall to the clubs, their Foundations, and the sport in general.”