In The News
Distance Runner Taps “Forrest Gump” To Inspire Healthier Kids
In October, inspired by the film character, Englishman Jim Plunkett-Cole set out from Mobile, Alabama, on a three-year, 20,000-mile run crisscrossing the United States. He is running for a very particular reason: to encourage kids to engage in daily exercise.
Read the story in full at Modern Wellness Guide.
Seaton Launches Olympic Funding Bid
Seaton, from Carrickfergus, and Ireland team-mate Seafra Guilfoyle are aiming to become the first Irish sailors to win gold at the Olympics. Seaton (28) is a double Olympian in the 49er class and has had multiple world top 10 rankings since he started sailing full-time in 2009.
Read the full story on the Belfast Telegraph.
Englishman Passes Through Morgan City On Journey Across The U.S.; Hopes 20,000-Mile Run Will Encourage Kids To Be More Active
Using Forrest Gump’s fictional run across the U.S. as inspiration, Jim Plunkett-Cole is on a journey to run 20,000 miles in three years for the sake of encouraging kids around the country to exercise daily.
Plunkett-Cole, 47, of Bristol, England, ran into Morgan City Tuesday night and headed out Wednesday on his way to his next stop in Franklin, eventually bound for Houston. He must average at least 17 miles per day to accomplish the feat in about three years.
You can find the full the article at Morgan City Daily-Review.
Gaelic Masters Association: Filling The Void Left By An Inter-County Career
GAA is a way of life. It’s something you’re born in to.
The sport captures the mind and body from a very young age and becomes an integral part of existence for the foreseeable future. But what happens when something that important and time consuming stops? How are players filling the void left by a GAA career?
A positive support for those who had careers in the past is the Gaelic Masters Association (GMA). The GMA helps fill the void in life after GAA.
Read more about the vital role the GMA plays on Pundit Arena.
Man channels Forrest Gump with plan to run 20,000 miles in three years to fight childhood obesity
Jim Plunkett Cole will attempt the longest run in history, covering 20,000 miles.
He has spent 3 years preparing for this and over this period has run 10 km + every single day. In an epic criss-cross run throughout the USA, Jim will re-create the infamous run from the 1994 Oscar-winning film, Forrest Gump.
Read Jim’s exclusive interview with the Washington Post here.
Tongan skier quits job to chase Winter Olympic dream
Just six months ago Kasete’s lifestyle was completely different. By his own admission the skier smoked, drank too much, ate badly and didn’t exercise at all.
After quitting his job in London, Kasete is in Austria for a glacial training camp as he begins his journey to the Winter Olympics.
Kasete is concerned by some health issues in his native Tonga and wants to use his challenge to inspire people and address some of the issues facing Tongan society.
“I want to push a message that you can change your life. You can change the way you eat. You can exercise. There are significant issues with diabetes and life expectancy in Tonga. I want to address some of them,” he said.
Read Kasete’s story in Matangi Tonga.
Irish forced to raise sports funding to plug gap before Rio 2016
Only seven of the 27-man squad which is currently preparing for Rio are full-time players, with the rest trying to balance elite sport with work or study.
A target of €225,000 has been set and Fulton says this will be used to help keep players going while they take time off in order to concentrate on hockey.
“We have an amount we need to cover the players with. Out of all that we raise we’ll split it – one goes to the programme and one goes to the players,” said the former South Africa international. Read more at RTE.ie.
JOE meets the European champions crowdfunding to defend their title
With the amount of money in football, such a scenario seems improbable. Yet for England’s lacrosse players it has become a reality, so much so that they have turned to crowdfunding in a bid to defend their crown in Hungary this summer.
The comparisons to Barcelona and Spain might seem like exaggerations, but England have been just as (if not more) dominant on the European stage of late. Read more at Joe.co.uk.
Kimberley Murray reveals Gold hunger after sports funding campaign launch
When she realised injuries meant she would be unable to compete at the highest level at long jump, she changed sport to bob skeleton.
Kimberley, who is now part of the British Skeleton team, said: “I needed another sport to keep my Olympic dream alive so now I’m hooked on the thrill and adrenaline rush of bob skeleton.
“My first time on the ice track I was absolutely terrified but now I’m going all out for gold.” Read more at The Daily Record.
Lucy Hatton turns to sports crowdfunding for Rio 2016 Olympic bid
EUROPEAN indoor 60m hurdles silver medallist Lucy Hatton has turned to sports crowdfunding to help cover costs as she bids to reach the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The 20-year-old from Kettering was not named on British Athletics’ sports funding programme for 2014-15 last autumn.
She achieved the 100m hurdles qualifying time for Rio this summer but then struggled with injuries.
“As an athlete it’s really hard to break through and gain funding,” she told BBC Radio Northampton. “This season I’ve turned to crowdfunding and asked if anyone out there can support me as little or as much as possible on my road to Rio. Read more at BBC Sport.
Dublin hurling club pushing boat out to reach sports funding target
Michael Fitzsimons, a member of the victorious All-Ireland winning football panel, was joined by Dublin full-back Cian O’Callaghan and fellow Dubs team-mate Mark Schutte at the 40ft bathing area in Dublin, to brave the Irish Sea – with the help of two female models.
The club are looking for people to pledge money for dates with players, for training sessions given by our county players, for signed balls and jerseys. Read more at Independent.ie.
PledgeSports.org among Irish websites winning big at World Summit Awards
PledgeSports.org was declared the winner of the ‘Entertainment and Lifestyle’ category. The site was established in 2014 to address the funding gap in sports in communities worldwide, and has helped raise money for equipment, travel expenses, competition entries and other costs that come with a sports career.
“The World Summit Awards are about recognising digital tools that are groundbreaking, truly innovative and might be said to inspire,” said Maryrose Lyons, founder of Brightspark Consulting.
“For a small country like Ireland to be winning three of the 40 awards this year is truly remarkable.” Read more at Silicon Republic.
British tennis juniors chasing sports funding
Tiana Fox and Kylie Bilchev, both 12, have started sports funding campaigns with crowdfunding platform Pledge Sports to raise £2,000 and £1,500 respectively in order to enable them to travel to Florida next month to compete in the Junior Orange Bowl in Miami.
“Next to Wimbledon, this is the biggest tournament on the tennis calendar,” said Tiana Fox. “A total of 317 competitors have entered the tournament, but only 64 get selected, so if I get a place I really have to go as I will never get this opportunity again.” Read more at Tennis Head.
PledgeSports & Talent Backer merge, joining ‘invaluable’ sports funding resources
According to the company, the merger comes as part of PledgeSports.org’s continued expansion, boosting the European leader in sports crowdfunding’s brand, and allowing Talent Backer to continue to support the Arts community by relaunching as an entertainment funding site.
PledgeSports CEO and founder Richard Pearson said: “This is an exciting move which will allow PledgeSports and Talent Backer to grow, joining together invaluable resources in crowdfunding and continuing to improve the sports funding scene.”
“PledgeSports will take over Talent Backer’s sports crowdfunding projects and Talent Backer will focus solely on supporting the arts community.” Read more at CrowdfundInsider.com.
England Ladies Curling Team seek funds for championship bid
ENGLAND LADIES CURLING TEAM have qualified for their third Women’s Curling Championships in Esbjerg, Denmark next month and are looking to raise funds for their travel to the European finals.
The young team of talented ladies, all from West Kent, achieved a bronze at their first senior championships just two years ago and have matured into gold medal material.
Little sports funding is available to curlers, leaving the five-strong team and coach John Sharp struggling to cover the costs of going to Esbjerg for Le Gruyere European Curling Championships.
In order to fund their championships bid they are asking fans and the public to support them using a sports crowdfunding campaign on PledgeSports.org. Read more at Kent News.
Hockey Tanzania Continua La Gara Che Ci Piace Di Più: Quella Di Solidarietà
VALENTINA QUARANTA è a metà dell’opera; il reperimento fondi per portare la nazionale di hockey della Tanzania alle ‘qualificazioni olimpiche’ che si giocheranno in Sudafrica ha raggiunto quasi la quota del 50%.
Un fatto incredibile (in così poco tempo) , dovuto in buona parte ai tanti, tantissimi, hockeysti italiani che si sono mobilitati per dare una mano all’ex azzurra, dando vita alla più bella delle sfide: la gara di solidarietà.
La mobilitazione è avvenuta spontaneamente, sollecitata da amici che hanno coinvolto amici, fomentata da volontari, dal web, dai social network e dal passaparola: fantastici. FederHockey.it.
Ex-Garda aiming to fund Winter Olympics qualification through Crowdfunding
A LITTLE OVER six years ago, Brendan Doyle’s life was changed in an instant.
During an incident in the line of duty as a Garda, his baby finger and thumb were damaged to the point they no longer function, despite countless hours of skin grafts and corrective surgery.
Lifting himself out of the depression caused by this trauma, Doyle is now aiming for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang and raising sports funding via PledgeSports to get through the qualification process. Read more at The 42.ie.
Footballer Rianne sets sights on playing for England
Rianne Woodham, 20, has been playing the sport since the age of six and is set to jet to America on August 7, after winning a coveted scholarship to play at a Tennessee university soccer team.
She hopes the trip will be a stepping stone to playing professionally and getting noticed by England football talent scouts. Read more at Yorkshire Evening Post.
Cumbrian javelin thrower piercing Deaf Athletics boundaries with PledgeSports
CARLISLE javelin thrower Colette Doran is the British Deaf Record Holder, with a talent so bright she has been called up to the non-deaf Great Britain U23 team – despite her impairment and a car accident that nearly killed her.
However, without the public’s help, she will not compete for a World Medal next summer.
Having already placed top 10 at the Deaflympics in 2013, Doran’s number one goal for 2016 is to bring back a Gold Medal from the World Deaf Athletics Championships in Bulgaria.
As in 2013, she must fund this entirely on her own as the Great Britain Deaf Athletics Team receives no funding from its governing body. Read more at CumbriaCrack.com.
Wimbledon: Lucy Brown bids for wildcard through crowdfunding
British number 23 Lucy Brown, who is ranked 927th in the world, has felt the cost both financially and emotionally.
The 22-year-old, from Oxford, has turned to sports crowdfunding in a bid to reach the main Wimbledon women’s draw. Read more at BBC Sport.
Is crowdfunding the future of tennis sponsorship?
Using sports crowdfunding, it took just six weeks for Irish tennis player James Cluskey to raise €13,080.00– 30% more than his target for his PledgeSports.org ‘Road to Wimbledon 2014′ sponsorship campaign. Read more at TennisHead.net
Olympic sailor funding route to Rio 2016 via crowdfunding campaign
Ben Cornish, who has been a member of the British team since leaving school, is partly funded through National Lottery – money distributed via UK Sport – and partly through the Royal Yachting Association, the sport’s governing body.
But he said that their combined contribution of sports funding is not enough to cover costs including air fares, accommodation, food and the transportation of equipment overseas. Read more at WesternMorningNews.co.uk
Golfer hopes supporters will take the pledge to fund his season
With the cost of playing on development circuits like the EuroPro Tour running at around €1,000 per event, Dublin native Curley will need upwards of €30,000 to see him through to the European Tour Q-School in the autumn.
The nation’s fledgling pro golfers are assisted by the Irish Golf Trust, but the “revolutionary” new sports fundraising system, known here as PledgeSports.Org, enlists the help of prospective sports sponsors, fans and the general public in helping rising sports stars to achieve their goals. Read more at Independent.ie
Tennis players lacking airfare keep Wimbledon dream alive with Crowdfunding
TOP doubles player, James Cluskey, was traveling the globe, climbing the men’s tennis rankings and running out of money.
Playing in tournaments from the US to Slovenia, Cluskey ended 2013 at a career-best ranking of No. 153 on the ATP World Tour doubles rankings. His bank balance went the other way. Cluskey found himself back home in Dublin in December, with no money. Read more at Bloomberg.com.
Facing uphill struggle for sponsors, US athletes lead Sports Crowdfunding trend
But whether athletes like it or not, Pearson said, they will have to become used to crowdfunding — and adept at it.
“Not even the richest country can fund every athlete that they’d like to support,” Pearson said. “In a few years’ time, every sport will be using crowdfunding to raise money.” Read more at NYTimes.com.
Football goalkeeper selling coveted World Cup memorabilia to fund USA training camp and new FC Dallas post
JUNAYD VORAJEE is jetting off to FC Dallas as one of a handful of future football stars plucked from across the country to join the Michael Johnson Performance Camp.
The 17-year-old, who won national football talent competition ‘Search For An Asian Football Star’ back in November, hopes the move will take his career to the next level and is being forced to part with a treasure trove of football memorabilia to fund it.
The goalie is selling a signed Wayne Rooney shirt, a signed Manchester United shirt and a football from the 2006 World Cup final to fund his dream trip. Read more at LancashireEveningPost.co.uk
Leading triathlete raising funds for Commonwealth Games bid
One of those athletes is Russell White, using sports crowdfunding website Pledge Sports to fund his bid. Originally a swimmer, Russell started triathlon in 2010 but has already been selected for the Northern Ireland team.
The event has additional meaning for Russell as he has lived, trained and studied in Stirling for the past four years. Read more at Tri247.com.
Gosling Tennis Academy pro Lucy Brown has money on her mind
GOSLING TENNIS ACADEMY product Lucy Brown is looking for ways to volley her sports funding problems away.
The former U16 National Doubles champion, who once graced Wimbledon alongside Laura Robson, has been cursed with injuries in the past couple of years, distrupting her playing schedule.
Now languishing outside the world’s top 1000 ranked ladies, Brown has innovatively teamed up with Pledge Sports, a company dedicated to helping sportsman and women raise money for their individual and team enterprises. Read more at WHTimes.co.uk.
Athletes look to alternative models for sports funding
THESE are worrying times for sports funding. This year, only 11 Irish athletes are receiving direct funding from the Irish Sports Council, under the international carding scheme.
There is also a money pool that helps fund athletes indirectly (for training camps, competitions, etc) although there’s no guarantee every athlete entitled to such funding will ever see it.
Due to this a number of Irish athletes have been looking at alternative sports funding models, including the good old donation. Pledge Sports was set up with that in mind, and now has a range of athletes on their on-line sports crowdfunding platform, including John Coghlan, son of Eamonn, who has already attracted donations towards his quest to qualify for the 1,500m at the European Championships in August. Read more from columnist Ian O’Riordan at IrishTimes.com.
Show jumper told she would never walk again after fall crowdfunds for place at Rio 2016
Emma Cahill’s spine was crushed when a horse rolled on top of her four years ago and doctors told her the damage to her spinal cord meant she would be paralysed from the waist down.
But the 26-year-old from Dublin, Ireland was determined to beat the odds to walk away and get back in the saddle. Now she’s crowdfunding her way to Rio as a Para-Dressage rider with the help of Pledge Sports. Read more at IrishMirror.ie
Historic Scottish boxing club reopens with funds raised on PledgeSports.org
Aberdeen Boxing Club, which was founded in 1920, was left with no training facilities after Cummings Park Community Centre in Northfield closed its doors in 2013. But following two years of negotiations with the council and Sport Aberdeen and a PledgeSports.org fundraising campaign, the centre has reopened. Read more at Pressandjournal.co.uk
Olympic swimmer turns to crowdfunding after significant sports funding cuts
This week provided a stark reminder of the difficulties, outside of sport, which the majority of Irish athletes routinely face. Several top performers, including Ciarán Ó Lionáird, on Friday discovered the unwelcome news that their funding had been cut.
Murphy tells us that €12,000 isn’t enough for sportspeople such as himself to get by on and that sports crowdfunding is now the best option. Read more at The42.ie.
US athletes turn to Sports Crowfunding as corporate sponsorship for sports ebbs
At 32, she believes that she is still in the prime of her career. Yet despite her strong results, she has found it difficult to retain her corporate sponsors. But there is a solution.
A group of crowdfunding websites for athletes has started in recent years, the latest being Europe-based crowdfunding website Pledge Sports, allowing thousands of athletes to pay for their training, coaching, equipment, and travel expenses. Read more at ChronicleHerald.ca.
European Silver Medallist Lucy Hatton takes to Pledge Sports as she seeks support
AFTER putting herself up for sale on eBay in 2013, Team GB hurdlerLucy Hatton has returned to the web in a further search for support.
At the beginning of 2015 she broke and then improved the British under-23 60m hurdles record to 7.90s, going third on the UK senior all-time list – as well as claiming European indoor silver in Prague in March.
Injury problems over the summer put paid to her hopes of competing at the World Championships in Beijing but the student athlete is now keen to put those struggles behind her as she works towards her next main aim of the World Indoors, while she also has her sights on the Rio Olympics. Read more at Athletics Weekly.
Ironman athlete sets up crowdfunding campaign to fund Ironman World Championships bid
TAMARA MAXANTOVA is Kona-bound. She qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii at Ironman Austria, with a blistering finish time of 9hrs 50mins. This is her race report:
“It was a beach start. The gun went off…..finally! I was lucky to start in the first wave with only 400 athletes. I quickly found a pair of feet which suited my pace.” Read more at IrishTriathlon.com.
PledgeSports answers cries after cuts to UK sports funding
This left many hopeful Rio 2016 Olympic athletes disappointed, but in March, PledgeSports formed and launched the first crowdfunding platform specifically designed for sports. Read more at Lovetennisblog.com
Daly determined to make UFC after launching crowdfunding campaign to fund costs to Las Vegas
AISLING ‘Ais the Bash’ DALY is 115lbs of highly disciplined power, strength and fighting ability. And she is determined to demonstrate her abilities on other world class talent at the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Crowdfunding gathers pace in sport with PledgeSports launch
The Jamaican Bobsleigh team got to the Winter Olympics because of the power to reach beyond normal sponsorship avenues. The Irish Universities Athletics Championships were streamed live on AerTV last Friday because of money raised via crowdfunding.
This week Pledge Sports has announced the launch of a new sports crowdfunding platform, providing a sports funding and sports sponsorship platform for athletes, teams and clubs. Read more at SportforBusiness.com.
Hurling team takes novel approach to raising Senior Club Championship funding
THE CUALA senior hurling team will play Craobh Chiaráin on 7 October in Parnell Park in the Senior Club championship quarter-final, and they are desperately trying to raise sports funding to help take them over the championship line.
The club are attempting to raise €10,000 to help cover running costs, which would cover facilities rent (pitches/gym), coaching, equipment and transport.
And their novel idea to raise money involves a series of unique gifts and experiences in return for donations. Read more at The42.ie.
Hall latest British judo player to seek funding on PledgeSports.org for Olympic qualification bid
Hall, 26, has launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform PledgeSports.org to raise funds for travel to tournaments and training camps, just as his training partner at Team Bath, Tom Reed, did so successfully in 2014.
Last year Reed raised in excess of £3,500 on PledgeSports.org towards the costs of qualification for next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, and another training partner Gary Hall - no relation of Adam’s – is also presently using PledgeSports.org for the same reason. Read more at BathChronicle.co.uk
Could this new sports funding initiative be the answer to athletes’ prayers?
Now there is. TheScore.ie chats to Richard Pearson about a sports fundraising project that aims to “help athletes have a future in what they love doing”. Read more at TheScore.ie
Ex-Hockey player among Touch Rugby Squad fundraising for Touch Rugby World Cup
Now she’s following in the footsteps of her best friend, cycling star Charline Joiner, by gearing up to go Down Under and represent her country on the world stage.
The Touch Rugby World Cup is being held in Australia and her team, the Scottish Women’s Open Touch Rugby Squad, are raising funds for the trip on PledgeSports.org using a raffle as rewards. Read more at DunfermlinePress.com.
Physiotherapist uses crowdfunding campaign to join elite athlete rankings
PHYSIOTHERAPIST Kevin Thornton has taken a year out from work to focus on his training as an Elite Triathlete and race through Europe and North America with funding raised through Pledge Sports.
The sports funding he raises through his crowdfunding campaign will help pay for his international race entries, airfares and training camps, to allow him to make the step up to training and racing full time. “I have a great coach,” he said, “who helped me achieve some great results last year. With his encouragement, and the support of some of the elite guys, I decided to take the year out and go for it fully this year.” Read more at GalwayIndependent.com.
On The Radio
TodayFM’s Sunday Business Show spoke to founder Richard Pearson about the launch of PledgeSports.org’s own equity crowdfunding campaign. Click here to listen.