Many sports have been hit badly by the Covid 19 pandemic across Gloucestershire and the UK with most being unable to compete or even train as they usually would.
But the sport of basketball has been affected more so than sports like football or rugby due to the necessity to play indoors.
Gloucester Knight’s manager and UOG Raiders coach Ian Greaves believes the sport could face serious harm if clubs are not allowed to return to play some time soon.
He said: “It’s quite a depressing time for the sport and I can’t see grassroots basketball returning until April. Covid has really decimated the sport at local level and the fact that most of the country is in Tier 2 or 3 basically discounts any basketball at all.
“Even if you went to Tier 1 it would be back to six people so you still couldn’t play any league matches so that’s basketball finished for this year.”
He added: “People forget that a lot of those who play local basketball have been doing it for years. If you take that away from them for a year of 18 months, they could decide to leave the sport which could have huge effects.”
While the government have attempted to provide aid for grassroots basketball and smaller clubs, there have been calls for them to do more in Gloucestershire and Greaves is sympathetic to the cause.
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“I don’t think there’s been enough done,” said Greaves. “There’s talk of grants now, but our league is going to be right down the food chain.
“It’s the fact that you have all these teams who have been paying a lot of money for access to sports halls for the last 10 or 15 years and then ‘tough luck, you’re out’ with no likelihood that they’re going to get back in any time soon.”