The British Basketball Federation (BBF) has announced the appointment of Chris Grant OBE as the new Chair of the sport’s national governing body.
The appointment has been warmly welcomed by the basketball governing bodies allied to the BBF. Chris will take up the role for an initial term of four years, starting on 1 November 2022.
Chris has led many successful multi-stakeholder initiatives in sport and other fields. In the early 2000s, he chaired the UK Chip & PIN programme, where the banking and retail sectors worked together to introduce new payment technology.
He is currently a member of the Financial Services Culture Board, and also chairs English football’s Integrated Coaching Board, bringing together the leagues, associations and governing bodies involved in the men’s and women’s professional game to organise and improve career and development pathways for coaches.
Chris has previously served on the Boards of the Youth Sport Trust, International Inspiration – London 2012’s international development programme – and, most recently, Sport England, where he has just completed his second three-year term.
Chris has worked extensively within the high-performance sports system, not least as a designer and lead tutor of UK Sport’s cross-sport elite coach development programme. He fronted the first ever meeting bringing together Chairs, CEO’s and Performance Directors from all the bodies funded by UK Sport; has spoken at numerous performance conferences, and has facilitated strategic planning and learning events, including Great Britain Cycling Team’s post-Tokyo review.
Chris is passionate about achieving equality of access and opportunity for under-served and under-represented groups. He served as a member of the Commission on the Future of Women’s Sport, and has supported organisations such as Wimbledon on the development of their Diversity & Inclusion strategies. From 2014 to 2018, Chris was CEO of Sported, a UK-wide 2012 legacy charity, supporting clubs and groups changing the lives of young people in their communities. In 2005, he facilitated a national conversation on the future of sport for the BBC, and more recently he has chaired the judging of the Sport Industry Awards.
Speaking of his appointment, Chris Grant said:
“I am delighted to become Chair of British Basketball. I was never great on the court, but I loved playing, and rented my first colour TV in the early 80s, specifically to be able to follow Channel 4’s ground-breaking coverage.
“Basketball is already one of our most played and most important sports, but it’s also clear that the game has extraordinary untapped potential. We owe it to the players, coaches, fans, volunteers and everyone who loves the sport to do all we can to ensure we realise that potential.
“There are a number of challenges which need to be addressed – their resolution will require all the stakeholders to understand how and where they can make their best contribution, and to work collaboratively. My first impressions about people’s willingness to do this are encouraging. I look forward to making my own contribution, and to building the culture, infrastructure and capabilities which will make GB a power in the world game, and an inspirational asset for those progressing through the pathways, using the sport to deliver benefits in their community, or who simply love the game and want to see it flourish.”
Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, said:
“Chris’ appointment as Chair of the BBF represents a great opportunity for the sport of basketball in the UK. Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role that will give the BBF and its partner organisations the best possible chance to transform the sport, both on and off the court. We all know the potential basketball has to inspire and unite from community level to the world stage, and we look forward to working with Chris and his team to support them to realise it.”
Matt Neville, Chair of Basketball England, said:
“Chris’ appointment presents an opportunity for the BBF to move forward and harness the real collaboration that has already started between all the stakeholders in British basketball.
“There is a united front between those involved and Chris’ qualities and experience will be a huge asset to the BBF in guiding and driving all of the organisations forward.
“The BBF has had and continues to face significant challenges, but all the stakeholders stand together in facing them, and are confident this appointment is a positive step to being able to make real progress.”
Stephen Ferguson, Chair of basketballscotland, said:
“We warmly welcome the appointment of Chris Grant to the role of Chair of British Basketball. Scotland has long advocated the importance of culture and collaboration as the foundation for the sport’s growth and success. With Chris at the helm we believe that the sport now has an opportunity to build positively on the warm and constructive relationships that exist between the various governing bodies of basketball across Great Britain.
“Basketball has extraordinary potential for changing lives at grassroots and at elite level. With all the parts of British basketball working together for the good of the sport, we believe that we will begin to see that potential realised. We look forward to working with Chris and wish him and the new BBF Board every success.”
Keith Mair, Chair of Basketball Wales, said:
“Basketball Wales welcomes the appointment of the experienced and highly qualified Chris Grant OBE as Chair of the British Basketball Federation. This fills the vacancy created by the resignation of the late Maurice Watkins nearly two years ago. We’re very pleased to have been a part of the interview/selection process for this appointment and look forward to working with Chris as he, and his fellow Board members, endeavour to fund and develop international teams to represent Great Britain at all levels of the game.”
Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of BBL, said:
“The BBL is delighted that Chris is joining as Chairman of BBF. The challenges for the BBF have been significant in recent years and I am sure Chris Grant will provide effective leadership to help move the organisation and the sport forward.
“These are exciting times for basketball and by working together the key organisations in basketball have the opportunity to deliver a step change for the sport.”
Prof Jim Saker, Chair of WBBL said:
“The WBBL is looking forward to working with Chris in taking the game forward over the next few years. It is an exciting time for women’s professional basketball and with positive inclusive leadership, the game has the opportunity to fulfil its true potential alongside other sports.”