A bronze-medal-winning Great Britain football team are being denied their chance to compete at a major tournament – all because of lack of money.
GB women won bronze at this year’s Deaf World Cup – and are hoping to do even better at next year’s Deaflympics.
But because they receive no funding, it looks like they won’t be able to attend, and nor will their male counterparts.
“So far we have raised £2,195 – we must raise £20,000 by the end of November to pay the deposits,” explained captain Claire Stancliffe.
“£125,000 is needed altogether to send both men and women’s squads to the Deaflympics 2017 plus part-fund the training weekends.”
That means they now have just over a month to raise £17,805.
The women’s Deaf World Cup success was helped along by the support of several high-profile people, including England’s James Milner and Jack Butland and Wales legend Neville Southall.
And Stancliffe herself received major recognition for her role, picking up Sky Sports’ Sportswoman of the Month award for July, beating the likes of Serena Williams and Heather Watson.
Stancliffe is desperate to mark her ten years at international level with Deaflympics glory, and admits that missing out would be heartbreaking. In the meantime she and the rest of the squad are concentrating on spreading the word, while balancing their training and the forthcoming squad trials with their full-time jobs.
As Stancliffe pointed out, “All it takes is one influential person to help – and it sends social media into a frenzy.”
To find out more about GB Deaf Football and their fundraising, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/TeamGBDF
*Carrie Dunn is SHOOT’s Women’s Football correspondent. Her book ‘The Roar of the Lionesses: Women’s Football in England’ is out now – available in all good bookshops.*