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How Pledge Sports Supports Women In Sport

IT’S International Womens Day, and we are international women supporters. We’d like to show you how and catch up with some of the talented sports women we have supported since last year’s International Womens Day.

One of our most memorable sports crowdfunding projects was the para-equestrian Emma Cahill from Dublin in Ireland.

Face 5Emma was a promising show jumper, who broke her back when thrown from a horse in training in France. In a harrowing ordeal, Emma was paralysed from the waist down and was told that she would never walk again. Incredibly, just a few weeks later, her legs woke up.

She was able to begin walking, and later riding, and embarked upon an international para-dressage career, which she funded via PledgeSports.org.

“Looking back, I can’t quite believe all of the things that Pledge Sports made possible for me,” she says. “Yes, getting to 100% was amazing, but there’s more to it than that.

“Pledge Sports got the ball rolling and got my story out there in a way that will continue long after the funding has been spent.

“I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to so many of my supporters and their well wishes are there to keep me going when things aren’t going to plan.”

Things weren’t going to plan for 1500m and 800m runner Claire Tarplee last year. Based in Birmingham, Claire fractured her foot, derailing her Rio 2016 Olympics schedule.

Having dropped out of competition, and off the radar, due to that injury, she was left with a huge funding hole. But she still had drive to make it to Rio 2016 – and that’s why she joined PledgeSports.org and raised more than £2,000.

Last month she became the Irish National Indoor 1500m Champion, putting her bang in contention for that Olympic Games spot.

Lucy Hatton

British hurdler Lucy Hatton, a hugely popular and quirky athlete, had also fallen below par due to injuries on the Road To Rio. She turned to PledgeSports.org and raised nearly £4,000 towards her training camps and travel costs, moves which last month landed her bronze in the 60m hurdles final at the British Indoor Athletics Championships.

“It’s been incredible,” she says. “Because of this sports crowdfunding project I’ve had the opportunity to do so much; I’ve gone to school, done meet and greets, and spoken to loads of amazing people!”

Since Amy Williams’s gold medal win in Vancouver 2010, Skeleton Racing has become Britain’s core Winter Olympics sport and we were delighted to help the latest starlet to emerge from the talent searches, Kim Murray.

“PledgeSports’s team were a fantastic support to me throughout the time I was crowdfunding,” she says. “They always shared advice and answered questions promptly and were in general super helpful.”

She adds: “They shared my story and page on a regular basis, no doubt helping me to achieve well in excess of my target.”

She has been able to begin training full-time thanks to sports crowdfunding and has been training with the British team with a view to making her debut shortly.

Tanzania Women’s National Hockey Team and the Scottish Women’s Touch Rugby Squad also came to PledgeSports.org with a travel costs issue. For Tanzania it was a national Rio 2016 qualifying competition, and for Scotland it was the Touch Rugby World Cup in Australia (don’t get jealous, it rained a lot!). They both got a full team to their tournaments and performed pretty darn well.

Going to finish by highlighting two project running right now: Ireland’s only professional female boxed Christina McMahon and British, London 2012 Paralympic Medallist, Lucy Shuker.

McMahon has worked tirelessly to earn herself a shot at the WBC World Super Flyweight Title against Zulina Munoz in Mexico on March 12.

We saw the urgency of her campaign straight away and got it out to local and national radio stations and newspapers and the response has been fantastic. She has raised nearly €10,000 and is in flying form ahead of the bout.

DSC_0267Lucy made history at the London 2012 Olympics when becoming the first British woman to ever win a wheelchair tennis Paralympic medal and is ranked No.7 in the world.

Her sports crowdfunding campaign is all about the Rio 2016 Paralympics and she has already gained huge support from supporters and commercial sponsors too. Tournaments don’t start for a little while, so for now she’s training hard.

“The Paralympics are so important and they definitely have to be the biggest priority,” she says. “They only come round once every four years and so much of our funding depends on what we achieve in terms of medals. So Rio 2016 is a huge part of this years planning.

“I’m working hard to try to achieve my goals. I’m normally on court from midday until 2pm, take an hour off for lunch and then I’m back again, either hitting balls from all angles, taking myself out of my comfort zone, or working on fitness and going to the gym.”

Celebrate International Women’s Day by supporting one of our fantastic female athletes.

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