Basketball England today announces an injection of £410,000 from Sport England to help transform the way we identify and support young people with talent and the potential to represent England and compete internationally.
This funding support is so timely for basketball because the sport is fully engaged in a reset for the game to take it to another level so that our talented players can compete with the very best in Europe.
In securing the talent funds, Basketball England have presented the current findings from our research and development project to developing talent and take our sport to the next level (known as the Basketball Development Model/BDM). This includes all of the survey findings and engagement with people in our sport, as well as advice from several expert groups that are examining the player/athlete needs, coaching practice, officiating practice, sports science and medicine, player welfare, improved competition structures and playing environments. The research has identified what needs to improve so we can give more and better support to those involved in nurturing talent at club, regional and national level respectively.
Steve Bucknall, the lead member for coaching and talent on Basketball England’s Board, commented: “This is great news for all our young players with the aspiration to grow with our great game and fulfil their potential. This investment is a welcome boost for basketball and will help improve the way we identify talent and raise the standard of coaching from club level through to the national teams.”
Vanessa Ellis, the national team coach for U18 women and a great advocate for women’s and girls’ basketball, said: “It is great to get the support to develop coaches and help our players get more from basketball. I particularly welcome the move to look more closely at how we grow and develop the talent pool for young girls and provide new opportunities for women to develop as coaches. There is a big disparity between the number of male and female coaches at all levels and I’m delighted that the sport will be finding ways to make coach development more accessible as part of the talent system.”
Basketball England’s CEO Stewart Kellett, who led the bid with his team, stated: “The funding support from Sport England is a major boost for basketball at a time when accessing funds for talent is getting tighter. Sport England continue to recognise the value of our sport to society and we now must deliver our promises to change our practice and deliver the upgrade in the way we develop talent in this country.
“In June 2016, we instigated our BDM research programme and we have engaged many people in the game so we can express the collective views of basketball to our funders, showing that we all want to build. This is really starting to work for us now as we can show what needs to happen to support our players better. We will be taking forward the good practice we currently have and make a step change in our approach to raising our standards. This funding support has been hard earned by the basketball community – players, parents, coaches, officials, clubs, teachers, administrators and support staff in the sports science/medicine fields and I would like to thank everyone in basketball who has given their time to give feedback, attend meetings and roadshows and get more people in the sport to support the way forward.”
More details of the BDM and the findings to date can be found here: https://www.basketballengland.co.uk/basketball-development-model
This July, we will be publishing our talent plans for basketball so anyone who wishes to engage in this new pathway initiative can access the detail and see how they can be a part of it to support young people.