Northwood Valiants Basketball Club’s dismay at UK Sport funding cuts

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Northwood Valiants Basketball Club in Stoke-on-Trent said it is dismayed that UK Sport is standing by its decision to cut Olympic basketball funding.

UK Sport has rejected appeals against its decision to withdraw funding from Olympics sports basketball, synchronised swimming and women’s water polo.

YMCA in Stoke-On-Trent

Johnny Tomkinson, aged 38, is the basketball coach for Northwood Valiants Basketball club in Stoke-on-Trent.

He said: “In Stoke-on-Trent we saw an influx of players coming in after the 2012 Olympics.

“However, now because our funding has been cut we seem to be losing players as people can no longer afford it.

“It’s not just the senior players we have lost, but it’s the junior players as well.

“We now have to try even harder to appeal to juniors, as without grass-root players there will be no Olympic legacy from London 2012.

“At the moment we still have some very talented under 18 players who are striving to do well, despite no funding.

“We have never been a club that has been funded so we come up with our own ideas to fund our club. The other day we did our own car wash to raise money.”

Adam Barnett, 15, captain of Northwood Valiants, said: “I really want to play in the MBA or the Europa league and I think there are some players here that really could achieve that.

“But with no funding coaches aren’t funded and we don’t have the best equipment to help us play to the best of our abilities.”

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