Recently Basketball New Zealand announced that it was withdrawing the Tall Ferns, Tall Blacks the 3×3 teams from the Olympic Qualifiers this year. They released a statement which stated that because of the financial implications that Covid-19 brings, they are no longer able to participate in certain international events.
Basketball New Zealand basically have said that they do not have the money to send our teams to the Olympic Qualifiers and has decided to focus on the Asia Cup later this year in Indonesia. The Asia Cup is the gateway to the Basketball World Cup.
If our international teams do not play in the Olympics, Basketball New Zealand is potentially not eligible for more funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand. In order to gain the same funding which other sports get like Rowing and Hockey, New Zealand basketball teams have to place quite well in the Olympics in order for HPNZ to dish out the dosh. World Cups are not included in the HPNZ funding criteria.
I would of thought because of financial difficulty it would make sense to make a push and go for the Olympics as potentially it can unlock much needed funding our sport needs, also the Olympics is the pinnacle of sports which all athletes dream of and aspire to.
We have all the pieces, we have a strong base of players and have the potential to do well in the Olympics in both the mens and women’s divisions. I believe that the 3×3 men’s and women’s teams would of potentially won medals in the Olympics and that would of met the criteria needed for crucial funding. The 3×3 competition is new to this year’s Olympics and it seems almost timely that the teams were withdrawn from the competition.
I personally do not understand this decision as Basketball New Zealand has spoken out in recent times against the Government for not funding our beloved sport. To not participate in the Olympics is contradictory to their discrepancy as its an avenue for potential revenue.
Perhaps Basketball New Zealand needs to show more financial transparency in order for the public and its associates to fully understand what is going on with the money that they do have and how they have come to the financial decisions that they have made in recent times.
Have they made the right decision?
You be the judge.