Leicester Riders' delight at Olympics funding U-turn
UK Sport's move to reverse a controversial decision to stop funding British basketball for the 2016 Olympics has delighted Leicester Riders.
UK Sport announced today that it would give the sport a one-year conditional funding reprieve following an appeal earlier this week.
The exact amount of funding involved is yet to be determined, but UK Sport and British Basketball will meet over the next few weeks to discuss the issue.
Despite receiving £8.6million in the lead-up to London 2012, UK Sport decided to cut all of basketball's funding ahead of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Riders general manager Russell Levenston had set up a petition, along with Hoopfix founder Sam Neter, to encourage UK Sport to change its mind and had received more than 13,000 signatures in the first month of the campaign.
Wheelchair fencing was also successful in its appeal but table tennis, indoor volleyball, sitting volleyball and wrestling will still receive no funding despite their own pleas for a reversal.
"We are just absolutely delighted that we got the decision overturned," said Riders director Kevin Routledge.
"UK Sport have made a very brave but correct decision. We are back in the game now.
"All we were angling for was to sit down get them to understand basketball and now we have got the opportunity to have a proper discussion with UK Sport.
"We have deliberately made a big investment in young British players, which shows through our connection with Loughborough University and Loughborough College.
"Not only do we have the Team GB captain, in Drew Sullivan, but we also have two Team GB under-20s in Connor Washington and Jamell Anderson, two GB under-20 women (Jennie Rodgers and Rheanne Bailey) and a number of young England internationals.
"So, we are really pleased that this decision has been overturned."