ABOUT THE BASKETBALL ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP
All Party Parliamentary Group on Basketball promotes basketball at all levels in the UK.
For young people, especially, in the UK, basketball is a hugely important sport. For example, the Active People Survey (APS) 7 data from Sport England for the period from October ’12 to October ’13 identified basketball as the third most popular team sport for once-a-week participation amongst over 16s, after only football and rugby union.
Amongst 14s and over, basketball is second amongst team sports, only to football, with nearly 218,000 regular (once-a-week) participants, according to APS 7. More recent data shows broadly similar results.
This strong interest amongst young people is reinforced also by the Taking Part Survey (August ’13) published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which shows basketball as the second most popular sport (all sports, not just team sports) amongst 11 to 15 years old, only to football, with basketball on an increasing trend, and football (the number one) flat-lining.
The APPG Basketball also notes the strong value add of Basketball, and work of Clubs, the NGB and individuals in our inner cities, and amongst the most deprived. Basketball has the highest percentage of their participants who are under 25, and it is of greatest interest to BME’s (greater than 50% of basketball participants are black, minority or ethnic according to Sport England’s Oct ’13 APS data).
Basketball continues to progress at National Team level – for example, both men and women GB teams are now ranked in top 25 in the world, and in the top 12 in Europe, compared with rankings below 75 when the Great Britain teams were formally established on a full time basis in 2008. Great Britain had only made 2 appearances in the European championships (EuroBasket) in the 50 years to 2009; since then there has been 5 EuroBasket appearances between 2009 and 2013.
There were also two GB FIBA European Player of the Year nominations in 2013; and eight age group players nominated for all European Championship teams, and one MVP. In the London Olympics, GB Men were just one basket away from achieving their London 2012 Quarter Final target (GB lost 78-79 to Spain in group stage – Spain were the eventual silver medallist); and GB Women were the youngest team in London 2012 basketball tournament – yet, 3 of their 5 games had margins of 8 points or less, and were only beaten in overtime by the eventual silver medallists France.
The GB Wheelchair men’s basketball team won gold in European championships for 3rd time in a row in 2015 and were fourth in the London Olympics, with the GB Wheelchair women winning bronze in the Euros 2015, their second bronze in a row.
The men’s professional League in the UK (the BBL) has an expanding roster of franchises, and plays it’s finals at the iconic O2 Arena, the NIA Birmingham and Emirates Arena in Glasgow, to full houses, with 14,700 at the O2 in May 2015.
Yet, notwithstanding all the above, basketball is significantly underfunded by government compared with other team sports. The APPG Basketball intends to address that inequity.