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Sport England to cut basketball funding by 1.25m

The GB team, which includes Pops Mensah-Bonsu will not be affected

Sport England has announced a £1.25m cut in funding for England Basketball.

It made the decision after latest figures showed a 20% decline in the number of adults playing the sport.

The cut comes just over a week after Fiba, the sports's world governing body, allowed British men's and women's teams to compete at London 2012.

Sport England said England Basketball "has not demonstrated the necessary focus on improving its plans for increasing participation".

Jennie Price, Sport England chief executive, said: "The board has not taken this decision lightly, but from the outset of this funding period we have been clear that poor performance would lead to a governing body's overall funding levels being reviewed."

A Sport England statement added that "despite continued support and encouragement" England Basketball's plans did "not adequately address the challenge of increasing participation beyond the governing body's current audiences".

According to Sport England's figures the number of adults playing basketball at least once a week has dropped by nearly 32,000 from 186,000 to 154,100.

England Basketball, which runs the sport's grassroots game and national youth teams, had already seen a £380,000 cut as a result of reductions to Sport England's Exchequer funding in the Comprehensive Spending Review last October.

According to Sport England, funding "will now remain at its current level of £1.35 million per year until 13 March 2013".

The decision will not affect the Great Britain teams as they prepare for the Olympics. They are overseen by British Basketball, an umbrella organisation over the home nations of England, Scotland and Wales.

Fiba has said that the sport must decide by next year whether the home nations merge completely as British Basketball following the 2016 Olympics, or return to the system of having separate teams.

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see also
GB teams to play at London 2012
13 Mar 11 |  Basketball
Future of GB basketball hangs in balance
11 Mar 11 |  Basketball

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