Funding boost to British Basketball’s quest for Tokyo qualification

Published 20 December 2019


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 South 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.

Aside from basketball, four other sports have received a boost in investment to support their Tokyo 2020 campaigns having received Aspiration Fund investment in 2018. Archery, fencing and skateboarding have received a combined £279,243 of additional funds while wheelchair fencing will also receive a small increase in investment.

After winning World Championship Bronze, the GB women’s archery team will benefit from an increased investment of £195,379. The team of Sarah Bettles, Bryony Pitman and Naomi Folkard beat China in a tense recurve Bronze medal match in the Netherlands in June, building on the mixed team’s medal success in 2018.

Both fencing and wheelchair fencing have also demonstrated strong potential in 2019. Marcus Mepstead won Silver at the Fencing World Championships while wheelchair fencers Piers Gulliver, Dimitri Coutya and Ollie Lam Watson combined to win a Bronze medal in the team Epee event to go along with the two individual medals apiece for Gulliver and Coutya.

Fencing will receive an increase of £57,264 to take their investment to £144,264. Meanwhile, the wheelchair fencing programme will receive a small increase in funding to allow them to support all three Epee athletes in the team event.

In December 2018 Skateboard GB were awarded £166,825 as part of the Aspiration Fund and a further £26,600 has been added to this award to support the team’s ongoing preparation for Tokyo. Sky Brown’s Bronze at the World Skateboarding Championships in September provided a further indication of the Olympic potential of the GB squad.

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.”


Funding Partners
  • DCMS
  • TNL partners
Official Partners
  • BAES logo
  • BUPA
  • IHG logo
Strategic Partners
  • British Olympic Association
  • Paralympics GB
  • Sport England
  • Sport Northern Ireland
  • Sport Wales
  • Sport Scotland