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  British Basketball, Governance, and UK Sport’s ‘No-Compromise’ Funding Approach

   Department of Sport & Exercise Science

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  Dr M Dowling, Dr A Stodter, Dr J Roberts  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The British Basketball Federation (BBF), also known as British Basketball, is the national governing body (NGB) of sport for responsible for overseeing basketball within Great Britain. The federation seeks “to create world class basketball programme in Great Britain and to lead the overarching strategy for the growth of basketball in England, Scotland and Wales.” (British Basketball, n.d.). British Basketball currently functions as a ‘federated’ governance model, with three home nation associations (England Basketball, Basketball Scotland, Basketball Wales) which operate independently and responsible for organising competitions and developing the sport in their respective domains. This suggests that the primary function is to organise men and women’s teams to compete at international competition. The current Great Britain men’s and women’s basketball teams (GB basketball) were formed by the home nation associations in December 2005 in response to the automatic qualification to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

As a single-medal, team-based sport, basketball has always been considered a low priority sport by UK Sport, the governing agency responsible for overseeing elite sport within the UK. Like many Olympic-based NGBs, British Basketball enjoyed a considerable increase in grant in-aid funding support in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, only to have funding completely cut during subsequent funding cycles, receiving no governmental funding from UK Sport during the Sydney and Athens cycles. Despite lacklustre performances within international competition, which some would argue is due to the lack of funding support, basketball remains one of the most highly participated sports in the country. According to Sport England’s, Adult and Children and Young People Active Lives Survey, basketball is the second most participated team sport (behind football) with approximately 1.3 million participants (Sport England, n.d.). The sport is also notably popular within disadvantaged, urban, and BAME communities making it politically attractive for tackling inequalities within society.

The current project examines the complex nature of the funding relationships between NGB’s and governing agencies such as Sport England and UK Sport and how their governing arrangements have enabled and constrained their strategic decision-making processes. In particular, the project will focus specifically on British Basketball as a single in-depth case study and how they have attempted to navigate their funding relationships over the past two decades.

This research may adopt a range of methodologies tailored to the specific research questions, including interviewing, surveys, and document analysis.

Where you’ll study:


Next steps:

If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Sport and Exercise Sciences MPhil, PhD. In the section of the application form entitled ’Outline research proposal’, please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

This project is self-funded. You may be eligible for doctoral funding through government funding scheme. Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.
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