UK Sport have confirmed that it will invest up to £325,000 to support the GB women’s basketball team in their ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification campaign.
Following their run to the semi-finals of the EuroBasket tournament in July the squad will now travel to China in February for an Olympic qualification tournament where they will face Spain, China and Korea.
This additional investment, which follows the £75,000 Aspiration Fund investment made to the British Basketball Federation in 2018, will be released in two stages. The first stage has been released to support the squad in China with the second instalment held back for use should the team qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Chelsea Warr, Director of Performance at UK Sport said: “The additional investments we are announcing today are all about further maximising Tokyo medal potential following some strong performances in 2019 across a number of our summer sports.
“Following their excellent showing at the EuroBasket tournament in the summer we are pleased to be able to continue our investment in our women’s basketball team and wish the squad every success as they prepare for their Olympic qualifiers in China.
“Our aim in Tokyo is to deliver ‘medals and more’; to continue to stay in the upper echelons of the medal table and to inspire the nation through incredible medal winning moments, taking the public along with us on this Great British success story. Equally important to us is the ability to deliver repeatable success over the long term. Our additional investments in archery, fencing, wheelchair fencing and skateboarding are great examples of this as we continue to win global medals in an ever wider range of sports.
“With the Olympic opening ceremony just seven months away and the Paralympics following quickly after, we are entering a critical phase of our four-year cycle and there are no signs of complacency among our very focused athletes, coaches and support personnel. Reflecting on performances we’ve seen in the past 12 months we remain quietly confident that we can continue to inspire the nation in Tokyo.”
Sports Minister Nigel Adams said: “As we approach the final straight on the road to Tokyo, we are underlining our support for the Great Britain Women’s Basketball team, alongside archery, fencing, skateboarding and wheelchair fencing.
“These are sports that have demonstrated their clear potential to qualify and compete at the highest level in 2019 but also their positive social impact in local communities.
“So it is absolutely right that we give their athletes a strong opportunity to compete, inspire the nation and shine at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.”