Lions move to London and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The BBL (British Basketball League) have today approved the relocation of the MK Lions Franchise to London.
The move will see the franchise partner with both GLL and Reach & Teach Sports Network (R&T), with both partners playing an integral part in the development of a community orientated franchise.
The Lions will initially be based at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre before moving for the 2013/14 season to the impressive 6,000 seat, Copperbox at the Olympic Park as part of the Olympic Legacy.
Lions Vince Macaulay enthused 'We can't wait to get started! With the partnership of GLL and R&T, combined with an incredible venue, I feel we have all the building blocks in place for a hugely successful community basketball club'
GLL Director Peter Bundey added; "There is already a growing debate around legacy from the Games and this is the first of many tangible initiatives that we are working on under our 'GLL Inspired' Legacy programme. We believe that this partnership will become the most exciting legacy catalyst for Basketball in London, with unrivalled community engagement working alongside a premium BBL club. This will be a structure that is also capable of bringing a much needed development pathway to support other basketball clubs within the Capital. It is therefore fitting that the London Lions will be playing their matches from 2013 in London's newest and most exciting sporting arena".
Nhamo Shire of Reach & Teach said 'We're committed to the growth and development of the game at the grassroots level and support clubs throughout London in a number of ways to help increase participation. We've been working closely with GLL for the past 18 months in developing new opportunities in London, so adding the London Lions to the landscape should help elevate our efforts in getting more people playing, watching, coaching and getting involved with our sport. It's an exciting time for our game on all levels and we're looking forward to a new era of growth and development of our game across the capital'.
The new partnership created for the London Lions has been welcomed by London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) who will oversee the legacy transformation and activation of the Olympic Park.
Daniel Moylan, Chairman, London Legacy Development Corporation said "Basketball has been one of the most popular sports of the 2012 Games and we are delighted that our operating partner GLL is bringing the Lions to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Copper Box will host at least 21 basketball games per year as well as offering a wide range of sporting opportunities for the public to use on a daily basis.
BBL Chairman Paul Blake said "The partnership between Lions, GLL, R&T and one of the London 2012 Olympic legacy facilities means a great future for the club and more basketball activity in our capital city, which can only be good news.'
The relocation of the franchise marks the end of a 14 year stay for the club in Milton Keynes.
Macaulay has also been confirmed as the Head Coach and General Manager of the London Lions.
CONTACT THE LONDON LIONS:
For further Information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT REACH & TEACH SPORTS NETWORK:
Reach & Teach are a non-profit community sports organisation using basketball as a platform from which to encourage social, academic, physical and vocational development for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The opportunities this programme offers can make a real and positive difference to individuals and their neighbourhoods, changing lives for the better.
For more information on Reach & Teach, please visit: www.reachandteach.co.uk
ABOUT THE LONDON LEGACY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
The LLDC promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
It will secure high-quality sustainable development and investment and ensure the long-term success of the facilities and assets within its direct control and supporting and promoting the aim of convergence.
It takes over responsibility for the Park from the Olympic Park Legacy Company, and additional powers including planning powers from October 2012 from the Olympic Delivery Authority Planning Decision Team and London Thames Gateway Development Corporation. For more information visit:www.londonlegacy.co.uk/about-us
ABOUT THE BRITISH BASKETBALL LEAGUE (BBL):
The BBL - British Basketball League - is an independent company, owned by its member clubs, which has run the top men's professional league in the UK since 1987. It operates a system of franchises over the UK stretching from Plymouth in the south west to Glasgow north of the border.
The BBL is a major contributor to the development of the sport at all levels and its member clubs place a large emphasis on work undertaken in their local communities.
The 2012/13 season will be the League's 26th.
For more information, visit www.bbl.org.uk