Unfortunately deaf swimming (S15 category) does not feature in the Paralympic Games and so deaf swimmers receive no national lottery funding. This means athletes such as Danielle Joyce, who holds numerous deaf world records, they have to pay their own way. Unless that is, if they can find a major sponsor to help fund the British team.
The 2015 World Deaf Swimming Championships are set to take place over five days this August and the cost of sending a team of Britain’s best deaf swimmers to compete is £40,000. This includes flights fares, hotel costs for fifteen athletes, plus the expenses of two coaches. So until they secure a major sponsor, everyone is doing what they can to raise money. Even Head Coach Sam Chamberlin doing his bit by running the Chester half-marathon, and the team has set up a Just Giving page for online donations: https://www.justgiving.com/GB-DeafSwimming .
Many of the Great Britain Deaf Swimming Team took part in the National Deaf Long Course Championships at Loughborough University last month, where seven national deaf records and 17 age group records were broken. Chester’s Emily Noden and Glasgow’s Jack McComish each won four gold medals, with Noden setting two Welsh records and McComish setting a new Scottish record. Evie Gallen set four new deaf records for Northern Ireland and collected three bronze medals along the way. Gold medals also went to Lucy Walkup in the women’s 100m breaststroke and Oliver Kenny in the men’s 200m individual medley.
Bill Baillie, UKDS Talent Officer, has worked closely with GBDeaf Swimming and added “over the last 12 months GBDS have made great progress in and out of the pool and are making taking the necessary steps forward in their development as a National Deaf Sports Organisation.” We are happy with the progress the swimmers are making and look forward to a strong team going to 2017 Deaflympics”.
The Great Britain Deaf Swimming Team have had a great season so far and are looking to continue this success in Texas at the 2015 World Deaf Swimming Championships. However unless they can find a major sponsor soon, it looks like most of them will be paying for the privilege of competing for their country.
Great Britain Deaf Swimming Team: Danielle Joyce, Lucy Walkup (university of Stirling), Emily Noden (City of Chester), Nathan Young (Bebington), Kieran Holbrook (London Borough of Redbridge), Oliver Kenny (UEA Norwich), Matthew Oaten, Ciara Tappenden (Basildon & Pheonix), Luke Nisted (Halton), Jasmine Seasmarks (City of Cambridge), Jack McComish (City of Glasgow), James Webster (Leander), Tom Baxter (Teddington), Polly Staines (Crawley SC).