Basketball England Inclusion and Access Fund

We ran a short consultation a fortnight ago on the idea of a small grants fund to support young people that are finding it hard to afford playing and competing in basketball on a regular basis. We now have a broad range of opinions from 40 people who were clearly in favour of introducing the fund to help young people from low-income families.

The initial feedback suggests we need to think about:

  • Implementing a simple application process
  • Applying criteria that encourages players to contribute to their club
  • Ensuring there is clarity and transparency about what the fund will be spent on.  

Most respondents were positive about grants being £75 or more. The challenge here is to get the balance right between reaching lots of people and not diluting the fund to the point whereby it is of little help to those that need it the most.

There was strong support for helping young people afford access to coaching and officiating training/qualifications and we could consider a national policy on discounts in response to this staunch backing.

We are going to re-open the survey (click here) for a further fortnight to get even more perspectives and then the Basketball England (BE) Board will formally review the feedback and establish a policy and grants programme to trial this season. We will be looking to recruit a few BE members to work with a board member and be part of a grants panel from the basketball community, including people who have experience of community development and working in deprived communities.  

By opening up the debate on affordability, Basketball England will also be looking to act on three other developments on behalf of the basketball community.

  • Publish an advocacy document that demonstrates the social value of basketball to assist with our national and local lobbying of facility providers to recognise the value of our sport. This will also be useful at a local level when clubs negotiate with local authorities and schools. Clubs will also be supported with endorsement letters from Basketball England.
  • Develop new opportunities to lever funds for clubs and individuals through engaging bodies such as the Community Foundations and other organisations who can contribute through influencing a national network.
  • Further promote fundraising through things like Easyfundraising and crowdfunding initiatives such as GoFundMe.

Clare Wardle, Chair of Basketball England, said: “Making sure young people can play is really important, thank you to everyone who has provided their input so far."

As an inclusive national governing body, it’s only right that we should look to explore ways in which we can best help young people from low-income families to stay actively involved in our sport.

The reopening of the survey for a further fortnight affords us another opportunity to hear from even more stakeholders on how to progress on with this important initiative in the future.