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Para-Athletics European Record holder 2019

Emanuele Di Marino

  • 0.33% funded
  • € 15.00 pledged
  • 44 Days Left

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About me

I am an Italian Paralympic athlete born with a bone malformation called club foot which has meant having difficult surgeries from as young as 7 months old. I compete in the T44 category over 100, 200 metres and long jump and I am the current European record holder for both sprint events. I am an Olympic finalist double World and five time European medalist and have a high profile in para-athletics.

Challenges

Recently the Para-athletics categories were re-defined meaning a T44 category was created for athletes like me and a T64 category for amputee or ‘blade runners. For years I have competed in a joint category with blade runners who have a proven advantage over athletes like me. With the new category system this would have been a breakthrough for me as one of the fastest in the World (European record holder) in my class, however decisions were made to delay the split in categories in major competitions until the 2021 World Championships and to my dismay the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, which means I will have to compete at another Olympics in Tokyo 2020 at a disadvantage. Because I have not been able to stand out in a category of my own yet at a major championships sponsorship is difficult to find, most of the attention turning to the ‘faster’ blade runners. Also, recent major championships have been more manageable in terms of cost (i.e. London 2017 World Championships and Berlin 2018 European Championships) but with the 2019 World Championships being in Dubai and then the 2020 Paralympics being in Tokyo the cost to compete has risen significantly. Para-athletes do not get paid to compete in their major Grand Prix meetings and so the cost to compete in these, excel and therefore raise my profile with sponsors in 2019 is also quite high.

Your help

This is where I need your help. This campaign is about helping me meet part of the cost to compete across Europe in 2019 in preparation for the World Championships in November 2019. However, I am hoping that some of those supporting my campaign might also be open to discuss a longer term relationship, not just for the 2019 season but on to Tokyo 2020 and then hopefully to further medals at future World, European and my ultimate goal the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. I am excited to kickstart this campaign and hope to be able to develop many new contacts and relationships going forward from this. Please share the link to my campaign and thank you for your support in advance!

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+Achievements

2017 World Championships

Bronze medalist in T44 400m Silver medalist in T42-47 4 x 100 Relay

2014 European Championships

Bronze medalist in T44 400m

2016 European Championships

Bronze medalist in T44 400m Bronze medalist in T42-47 4 x 100 Relay

2018 European Championships

Silver medalist in T42-47/61-64 4 x 100 relay

+The Project FAQ's

What will I do with the campaign funds?

I intend to use the funds to cover my entry fees, travel and essential expenses to allow me to compete at some of the key World Para-athletics Grand Prix events in 2019 including: Beijing and Switzerland (May), Italy (June) and Paris (August.) This will help me in my preparations for the World Championships in Dubai in November and retain my profile throughout the year in the lead up to next years Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

What is 'club foot'?

Clubfoot, also known as Congenital Talipes Equinovarus, is a complex, congenital deformity of the foot which can limit a person’s mobility by making it difficult and painful to walk, never mind run! Usually with club foot there is a malalignment of the foot involving the soft and bony structures in the hindfoot, midfoot and forefoot. The deformity affects the structure and position of the foot, presenting as an an inward turning of the midfoot and outward turning of the hindfoot. The foot is usually held in a fixed or downward pointing position, with the affected foot tending to be shorter and the circumference of the calf usually being less than the normal unaffected foot. With club foot there are varying degrees of rigidity in the foot which mean that running would usually be too painful without the use of some sort of supportive brace.

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