Basketball: Leicester Riders stars back petition to over-turn funding decision
Leicester Riders stars have urged UK Sport to change their decision to cut all its basketball funding for the next four years.
UK Sport dealt a huge blow last month when it confirmed that basketball would receive no funding as part of its Project Rio awards, ahead of the Olympic Games in 2016.
British Basketball received £8.5million in the lead-up to London 2012, but that has been cut to nothing.
A petition has been started to call on the government to get UK Sport to reconsider their decision, and Riders players have come out in full support.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
In the warm-up to their historic BBL Cup final victory on Sunday, when 7,500 fans filled the NIA in Birmingham, players wore shirts with 'Sign the Petition' on the back.
It is a matter very close to the heart of Riders forward Drew Sullivan.
Sullivan captained Team GB at London 2012 and led them to their first Olympic victory since 1948, against China, and saw them go agonisingly close to defeating European champions and the second-best side in the world, Spain, only to lose by one point.
"I hope that people from UK Sport were there (at the BBL Cup final)," said Sullivan.
"This is the most people we have had at a cup final to date, and it's happened after an Olympics.
"That's the most important thing – it happened after the Olympics.
"We are doing our part to buy into the legacy, hopefully they'll do their part."
International basketball is a growing success in this country, with GB men's team heading to their third consecutive European Championship finals this September and the women's team its second.
The issue is also important to young Riders forward Jamell Anderson.
The 22-year-old Great Britain junior was recently called into the England squad for their friendly with Ireland but missed it due to taking part in Sunday's final.
"I wore the T-shirt that said 'Sign the Petition'," said Anderson. "We all love GB, we all saw the Olympics, we need to get behind it.
"To continue the legacy that people speak about, we need to all get together as a country and get behind the sport of basketball."
For more information and to sign the e-petition, go to: