photo 2BRITISH Basketball’s Performance Chairman Roger Moreland has issued an open letter to the sport in the UK.

In it, he thanks basketball’s many supporters for their reaction to the news of UK Sport’s zero funding.

Giants star David ‘Tintin’ Watts has also had his say on the issue in his Manchester Evening News column. Read it HERE

Roger Moreland’s letter follows:

Dear friends

Yesterday was a tough day for all of us. It came as a considerable shock that our funding was cut completely by UK Sport and judging by the reactions from social media, it was the same for you.

24 hours after the announcement, I wanted to take the time to thank you for your support. The level and depth of that support was heart-warming and was a great comfort to the players, staff and officials at all levels. I suspect your emotions mirrored mine which moved from disappointment, into frustration and finally, anger.

But the work does not stop here and let me stress we are not going to give up. A positive media reaction across television, radio and online is only the start and we continue to take stock towards our next moves. What is clear is that basketball has never been more united in this country in its desire to succeed.

It is clear that the UK Sport funding system does not work for team sports or emerging sports. There is a huge chasm from participation to winning medals for sports like ours to breach. That has to change. We will have discussions with relevant parties in the next few days to press our case and seek a long term solution. Nothing has been ruled out.

It is pleasing to see the support at political level with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Basketball holding an extraordinary session next week. We thank them for their unflinching support for basketball.

We also thank FIBA for their considerable support. We welcome and we are grateful for Secretary-General Patrick Baumann’s public backing earlier today.

We will keep you posted on progress and, in the meantime, a good first step would be for you to write to your local MP about this situation and the need for change to the funding system so that sports like basketball that have shown they can progress on the world stage, can be given the chance to do so.

Let me assure you that as a sport, we are not going away.

We will fight on.

We will succeed.