British bobsledders crowdfund their Winter Olympic dreams
British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association has withdrawn funding of the women’s team
With the Winter Olympics just five months away a number of British women bobsledders have turned to crowdfunding following the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association’s decision to cuts its budget.
Team GB bobsledder Mica McNeill told the BBC that her team had been “powered by the people” after revealing they had reached a £30,000 target through crowdfunding. Today British bobsledder Donna Creighton also said she had launched her own campaign. She has raised £10,000 thanks to one donation.
On 19 September the BBC reported that the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association would withdraw funding for the women’s team but would continue to support the three men’s teams.
In a statement the association said: “The GB Bobsleigh programme is currently focusing resources on winning medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
“We are actively seeking commercial funding to further support our world class programme and we will continue to do so.”
With news that their funding had been cut, the women’s bobsledders had to take their Olympic destiny into their own hands.
McNeill told the BBC: “We need to make everyone who has supported us proud and make sure the money does not go to waste.
“We are powered by the people and it is them who will be pushing us down the track. I truly believe we will win an Olympic medal, whether it is in this cycle or the next.
McNeill expressed her commitment to Pyeongchang and the next Winter Olympics in Beijing, saying she was prepared to do “what it takes to get there”. Having so much support, makes it “all the more special”, she said.
Creighton, the ex-skeleton slider who now competes in the bobsleigh, added: “I am not ready to give up just yet.
“I must self-fund to compete this season and to create the best chances of me getting myself and my team-mates to an Olympic Games.”
The British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association, reportedly the best-funded governing body in UK winter sport, has been accused by Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold of “mismanagement”.
She said: “It’s hard to see talent and hard work go to waste. Everyone deserves their moment to make their dreams come true.”