Basketball stands together to urge the Government in Westminster to rethink after it opted not to reopen indoor sports facilities as part of its latest easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Pubs, cinemas and amusement arcades will reopen from 4 July but basketball courts, gyms and leisure centres remain off limits.
We have already expressed our disappointment. Now the united bodies of the British Basketball Federation, Basketball England, the British Basketball League and the Women’s British Basketball League request urgent action to help us prepare to bring our sport back from lockdown.
Basketball has played its part with Basketball England publishing a thorough and comprehensive set of safety measures in its Return To Play Guidance and Roadmap.
Now we need Government to do for indoor sport what it has done for the retail and hospitality industries.
Make a key step to getting basketball’s tens of thousands of players, coaches, officials and volunteers back to the game they love. Give the green light for indoor sports facilities to reopen safely.
The need for our game is great. This isn’t about having a pint or taking in a movie, it is an issue of physical and mental health. This is about getting our members back to being involved and exercising, safely meeting up with other players and being able to practise under the guidelines set out by Basketball England.
Our basketball family contains many members from the BAME community and those of lower socio-economic backgrounds – both disproportionately affected by the virus and dependent on our game for health, support and release. Many have not had the opportunity to exercise safely due to living in inner cities so to open up our indoor courts would be a huge benefit.
And the financial security of our clubs, the heartbeat of communities across the country, is at stake along with thousands of jobs.
We have shown we can use outdoor courts safely and responsibly where allowed. Following that same responsible and safe approach, we can offer our partners who run and operate local authority and education-based venues confidence that, on return to those facilities, our clubs and players will be supported by the best health and safety guidance.
If we are using common sense, it is time to treat basketball and other indoor sports with the same respect and understanding that has been given to pubs, bars and hotels and allow people the opportunity to take part in the sports they love.
Reopen our courts.
British Basketball Federation
British Basketball League (BBL)
Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL)