The organisers of the British Deaflympics team, who are about to compete in the Games in Sofia next month, have called upon supporters to create a last surge of donations towards their cause.
While TeamGB has announced its squad for the Deaflympics, the organising committee from UK Deaf Sport (UKDS) continue to raise the vital funds needed to support the athletes.
UKDS’ Gordon Hay, who is leading the preparations for Sofia, explained:
“Funding was received from Sport England to support TeamGB. But it does not cover the full cost and came with very clear conditions relating to expenditure.
“UKDS has secured sponsorship including the kit, sponsored by Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it, and the supply of telecommunications, sponsored by Total.
“Despite the generosity of sponsors we still have a funding shortfall which ultimately impacts on our athletes”.
How much does it cost to send an athlete?
Athletes have been fundraising and paying out of their own pockets to take part. The anticipated athlete contribution was £3,200, as highlighted in our Taipei Deaflympics report in 2009.
At that time, we did not expect to receive any Government support for 2013. Thanks to Sport England’s funding and sponsorship deals, we were able to reduce this cost to £1,900 per athlete.
How our spending was forced to increase
Unfortunately the strength of the Euro to the British Pound has increased the anticipated expenditure.
In the last few months, we have seen costs increase for hotel bookings and local transport. These have eaten into our contingency fund.
Essential items which remain unfunded include:
- bottled water
- specialist medical equipment
- local SIM cards (for team communication)
- large UK flags for athletes’ celebrations
- the cost of changing travel plans for our marathon competitor after the event was moved to Germany
What is the total shortfall?
What if more than £35,00 is raised?
Any surplus will be put towards the next Deaflympics (to be held in Ankara, Turkey in 2017). This money will be ringfenced and not used for anything else.
Philip Gerrard, Chair of UKDS, added:
“As our athletes continue to fundraise, we are calling upon their friends, friends of friends and indeed, anyone with an interest in sport, to donate to help us reach our target”.
Fiona Brookes, Chef de Mission for TeamGB 2013 believes that additional funds will be another boost to the athletes morale, saying:
“The squad has been training for months, aiming to peak at the Deaflympics. Just as they are aiming to achieve their best times, distances and results, UKDS needs to hit its own target of £35,000 to provide full support for these Games”.
“I know that your donation, however large or small, will give our athletes that vital extra yard, that extra surge of energy which will push them over the finish line and onto the podium”.
How can you donate?
There are two ways:
- Online: by visiting our JustGiving page: http://www.justgiving.com/gbdeaflympics2013
- Mobile: texting UKDS13 £10 to 70070 to make a quick £10 donation