As the governing body for the sport in this country, Basketball England are hoping that the 2018/19 season can be one of their best to date, both on and off the court.
After a significant amount of work over the last twelve months, the organisation has released a number of detailed documents aimed at taking the sport forward. With a central six-year strategic plan covering 2018-24 now ready for final release, the vision for the future of the game is being shared with players, coaches, officials, volunteers and clubs.
Alongside the document,‘Game Plans’ for both Coaching and Officiating have also been created and released with details on how those specific areas will develop and evolve in the coming years. Before the end of 2018, further plans for talent as well as competition will also be released which will signal a real shift in the sport as multiple areas receive a top-to-bottom analysis and refresh, drawing from expertise both nationally, internationally, and from other sports as well.
Basketball has the ability to engage communities in some of the most underprivileged areas in the UK. At its core, the sport is one of the country’s most inclusive. The BAME A (black, Asian and minority ethnic) demographic of those involved in the game is over 50% – a much higher percentage than most other popular sports.
Basketball is also ideally suited to areas deprived of space or funding. When all you need is a hoop and a ball, getting started is easy! That accessibility links in to the social value of basketball. It can help so many people in so many ways, with minimal barriers to basic participation.
With the clear direction that the new plans offer and the opportunities the sport possesses through access and inclusion, the potential is there for the governing body to promote basketball to the nation, government, media and potential investors in a positive and realistic way. That includes engaging with as many players, fans and active people as possible, both young and old, male and female.
2018 has already been a successful year, with Team England’s Women securing a historic Silver Medal at April’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia. Hopefully the recently released plans and clear potential for the game going forward will ensure that those kinds of successes can continue in 2019.