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Basketball facilities to get post-Games boost in Birmingham

The 3x3 format of basketball has been a big hit at Birmingham 2022 as it makes its Commonwealth Games debut, with the City Council keen to use its popularity as a springboard to drive participation

Community basketball in Birmingham will receive a funding boost to create a lasting impact from the current Commonwealth Games.

The news comes on the back of a historic night for English basketball at Birmingham 2022 as the men's team claimed 3x3 gold while the women picked up silver, with their wheelchair counterparts both bringing home bronze.

Making its debut at the Commonwealth Games this year, 3x3 has proved a big attraction and we’ve partnered with Basketball England and Birmingham City Council to create or enhance up to 20 great basketball spaces in the city – to be enjoyed for generations to come.

The National Lottery funding comes as part of our £6.5m investment into national governing bodies to develop non-traditional or digital ideas to drive participation in their sport.

The money will be used to develop facilities for both the 3x3 and 5v5 formats of the game, and our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth is excited by the sports potential to help communities get active.

“One of Sport England's priorities around the Commonwealth Games is to create local opportunities for people to get active that are affordable and accessible,” he said.

“The evidence shows that basketball in Birmingham is incredibly popular with young and diverse communities, but there is currently a lack of courts.

“This new investment and partnership - which is part of our overall investment of £35million into the Games - will allow more people in Birmingham, and nationally, to play basketball in their local community.

“We’ll be working with local clubs and communities to co-create these new and refurbished courts so that people feel a real ownership over them.”  

The agreement comes as part of Birmingham City Council’s legacy strategy and is set to run for a 12-18-month period post-Games.

It will also form part of Basketball England’s #ProjectSwish campaign that launched in 2019 with the goal of improving and promoting local spaces to play outdoors.

“We are delighted to work in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Sport England to create new opportunities to play basketball in local neighbourhoods,” said Basketball England chief executive, Stewart Kellett.

“The investment will give young people and adults the opportunity to influence the design of some amazing spaces to play basketball and involve the wider community.

“This is a start of a new momentum for basketball making it more visible and more accessible.”

Our own Active Lives figures show more than one million people regularly play basketball and among those aged 18-34, 14% play every week.

This partnership will work to maximise opportunities to increase the number of people playing in Birmingham, and City Councillor Mariam Khan, the cabinet member for health and social care, is happy to see the council delivering on their pre-Games policy.

“We have always been clear that bringing the Games to Birmingham is not just about 11 days of fantastic sport, but also about the legacy it leaves for all communities and future generations,” she said.

“With Birmingham being one of the youngest and most diverse cities in Europe, basketball has huge potential to grow and increase the number of people engaging in physical activity in the city, particularly through the introduction of 3x3 as a legacy of the B2022 Commonwealth Games.

“The link between physical activity and improved mental health is well documented, and this is particularly vital right now for young people whose mental health has suffered so much during the pandemic.”

Find out more about our investment into these Commonwealth Games.

Birmingham 2022

Channel website: http://www.sportengland.org/

Original article link: https://www.sportengland.org/news/basketball-facilities-get-post-games-boost-birmingham

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