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Great Britain’s new basketball body lays out priorities

By Matthew Campelli    23 Dec 2015
All teams, from youth to senior, will play under the GB banner from 2017 / British Basketball

The newly-formed British Basketball Federation (BBF) has outlined its strategic priorities ahead of its induction to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

The governing body is due to take over FIBA membership from the three Home Nations (Basketball England, Basketball Scotland and Basketball Wales) following the Rio Olympics in October 2016.

Among the BBF’s priorities is the development of an “overarching strategy” for British basketball for the five-year period between 2016 and 2021, which includes a funding plan to support all the Great Britain teams, from youth to senior level.

The BBF is currently in the process of appointing a “facilitator” who will help develop the blueprint, with a period of stakeholder engagement and consultation pencilled in. A stakeholder conference has been mooted, with work on the strategy expected to be complete by Q2 2016.

Under the governance of the BBF, Home Nations basketball teams will be scrapped in favour of a Great Britain team, with under-16s, under-18, under-20s and seniors playing under the GB banner from 2017.

The board will also be applying for funding from UK Sport for the Tokyo 2020 Investment Cycle under the Emerging Sports category.

As well as the strategy facilitator, the BBF will recruit another director to “widen the skills and experience available”, and is particularly searching for individuals with experience in the areas of finance and elite sports coaching.

From January 2016, the BBF board will be led by independent chairman, Nick Humby, who will be flanked by independent directors, Ian Curryer, Alan Gilpin and Steve Elworthy. The Home Nations directors nominated to serve on the board are Jeff Jones (Basketball England), Lucy Witt (Basketball Wales) and Andrew Warrington (Basketball Scotland), while Roger Moreland and Bill McInnes will serve as transitional directors.

Additionally, the BBF will sanction new professional league structures from October 2016, which will lead to the development of new league licenses in consultation with the British Basketball League (BBL) and WBBL, as well as the sale of the main television and commercial rights.

“FIBA is fully supportive of the approach that the BBF board is adopting and we encourage all parties to engage with the BBF in the interest of the sport,” said FIBA general secretary, Patrick Bauman.

The proposal to overhaul the governance of British basketball was instigated by a letter penned by McInnes last November. Last year Sport England had to supply GB Basketball with an emergency loan of £1.2m (US$1.8m, €1.6m) after UK Sport pulled its funding following its lack of success.

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