Basketball Ireland has secured a second major European Championships to be staged in Dublin.
The FIBA Women’s European Championship for Small Countries was awarded to Ireland at the main FIBA Congress in Berlin over the weekend. This will follow on from the U18 Women’s Championships which will take place between the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena and the National Basketball Arena in August of this year.
The Irish Senior Women’s team have competed well in this competition before, finishing in second place in 2016, and it is hoped that next year will see even more success for Mark Scannell’s charges as they showcase the best of Irish basketball on home ground.
“The awarding of the tournament is another great boost for Irish basketball and for Irish women in sport – an area in which Basketball Ireland continues to excel,” said Basketball Ireland President Theresa Walsh.
Add into the mix that the Women’s Rugby World Cup is coming to Dublin and Belfast this summer as well and it is clear that Ireland’s sporting administrators are making a mark when it comes to bringing major events that we are well capable of hosting to these shores.
Now it needs for fans to step up and create the kind of winning atmosphere in the arenas and around the tournament that will make other sports sit up and take notice.
Basketball is well positioned to do just that with a strong base of support across the country and in schools and universities. The noise and atmosphere of a major domestic final at the Basketball Arena is pretty special and the target is now to bring that and more to the international games that are heading our way.
We have hosted this tournament once before, when it was held in Dublin in 1994 and on that occasion Ireland emerged as winners. To aim for that level again and to deliver a tournament experience that is second to none is now the aim for the next year.