Help keep the GB Women’s Dream Alive
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With only 259 days to go before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games at London 2012, we catch up with Team Captain, Lynne Beattie, to hear about the challenges the GBW face on a daily basis and why the British public should invest their time and money supporting the Great Britain Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team in their preparations to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games - the highlight of not only their professional volleyball careers but perhaps their whole lives.
Here it is, all the way from Spain…
At the moment it’s fair to say that our Coach Audrey Cooper is doing the job of about 10 people…maybe more! Audrey is doing so much behind the scenes to make sure the team not only competes successfully at London 2012, but also that there is a future for our sport beyond August next year. Over the coming months, alongside her role as Head Coach, her major challenge is trying to deliver a world class programme on zero budget, not only between now and the London 2012 Olympics, but for the continuation of the programme beyond 2012. It is so important to us that we create a legacy for our sport post 2012. The recent confirmation of the participation of the GBW in the 2013 European Championships is great news for us and is the perfect way to ensure that Women’s Volleyball in the UK continues to grow post 2012. Our needs are therefore not only important from the point of view of the Olympics, but for the future of our sport as a whole.
This is a huge challenge, but it is not an impossible one. For the summer just gone, we raised over £80,000 and achieved over £78,000 of in-kind support and this made it possible for us to train full time and access the necessary facilities to stay fit and healthy throughout the summer. Importantly, it allowed us to to play competitive matches against World Class opposition. This was an unbelievable achievement and we are so grateful for the support received, but the reality is that there was so much more we wanted to do - on and off the court. The things we are talking about are the fundamentals we need for our programme to continue. We are not talking luxuries here, like players being supported financially or our food and travel being paid for, we are talking basic requirements: sports hall lets, coaches, competition, physiotherapy, accommodation and food… without all these basic things, the programme cannot operate and we as athletes cannot function. This is the reality of the challenges we face.
We, as players play pro abroad in the winter and internationally for GB during the summer. The truth is that the GBW do not receive any personal funding or financial support when we play for GB. It’s fair to say that personally, we are all in A LOT of debt. Alongside Audrey, many of us players have had to take on a lot of additional responsibilities. As well as training full time, we, the players, are involved in fundraising, sourcing sponsors, partners and supporters to assist in the delivery of a programme. To help create a legacy beyond 2012 and have the volleyball public be part of this journey with us we have taken on the task to design and maintain our own website, we run our facebook and twitter sites and we have relationships with schools across the country, to whom we send regular blogs. We are determined to do anything to engage the British public in our journey and to raise awareness of our team and our sport.
Why when we face all these obstacles do we continue? Of course, the Olympic Games are the ultimate sporting event but we are doing all this because we believe in our sport and we believe in each other. We must try everything to ensure that we can walk onto the court in the best possible state both physically and mentally. We are not being picky or fussy. We are not looking for luxuries, we are looking for basics for our programme. We are just trying to prepare thoroughly for an Olympic Games…we want to be successful for our sport, ourselves, our team and our country. Success means attention to detail, every 1% counts but this costs.
We are asking for help and there is a simple, flexible way that you can help the squad step on the court as ready as we can be, a way you can help us to focus ONLY on our jobs as coaches and athletes preparing to compete at an olympic games.
Become a member of our 2012 Players Club… donate as little or as much as you want per week or month and believe me it will make a difference in terms of our preparation.
Interested? Click here to find out how you can become a member!
We are all so grateful for any support you can give us. The opportunity to compete at an Olympic Games is a dream for any sport enthusiast, and for us it has been a dream we have all lived and breathed for 5 years. Your support will go a long way towards helping us prepare in the best way possible for our home debut on the the most spectacular sporting stage…EVER!