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Skeleton, the next chapter

Daniel Needham

  • 0.32% funded
  • £ 32.00 pledged
  • Days Left

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Hi there. Welcome to my funding page.

A few of you may be pondering the question, “What is Skeleton?”.

Skeleton is an extremely exhilarating winter sport in which you propel yourself down an ice chute at speeds of up to 140kph, experiencing pressures of up to 5G when going around corners, all with your chin just centimetres from (sometimes on) the ice. And if that’s not thrilling enough… there are no brakes whatsoever!! For most people, that sounds absolutely insane, but for an adrenaline junkie like me, and particularly once I’d experienced the feeling, I instantly fell in love with it.

Now I’m lucky and privileged enough to be able to continue developing as a skeleton athlete after being selected onto the British Skeleton’s World Class Performance (WCP) Talent Programme to train towards the 2022/2026 Winter Olympics. This is a world class performance programme which in the past has successfully produced 2 gold medallists in Amy Williams and Lizzy Yarnold. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been as much success on the men’s stage, however, they have produced some top quality athletes that have achieved a top 10 global ranking. My aim is to change all of this and become Britain’s first male Olympic medallist. I am hoping to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 to contribute towards living costs for when I relocate to Bath in July to train full-time as a skeleton athlete.

Prior To Skeleton

Since I can remember, I have always been extremely active and sport has been a huge part of my life. As a child, I participated in a lot of different sporting activities. The reason for this was not because I couldn’t find something I was good at, but because I wanted to excel at each one. I took part in football, rugby, basketball, golf, trampolining and gymnastics – just to name a few. I then found a great passion of mine in athletics at the age of 11. I started out as an all-round athlete, specifically hurdles, jumps, and sprints. I then specialised in the sprint hurdles for a number of years before returning to the multi-events in my late teens (decathlon). I competed for my country at both Junior and Senior level, winning numerous county, regional, national and international medals. Nonetheless, I never truly fulfilled my potential in the latter part of my athletics career because of a couple of injuries that I feel developed from the strenuous nature of training for the 10 events. Now from a very young age, I have had a strong ambition and goal to make it to the Olympics. And I had to make a decision at that time whether I saw myself achieving this dream in this sport. I was not in a good place, and I battled through gruelling rehabilitation and mental anguish to keep my body together.

Fortunately, as I was going through this struggle, my dad came across a talent initiative known as Discover Your Gold. This initiative is the biggest multi-sport talent identification campaign in British history, featuring more than 20 different sports and targeting 15-24-year-olds who can be fast-tracked into the world of high-performance sport. I decided to apply and attend the initial testing event in Sheffield. From 3500 applicants, I then progressed through 4 challenging phases in which every physical, mental and emotional aspect of an elite sportsman was assessed to see whether I had what it takes, and was eventually selected as one of the very few to be part of the Olympic talent programme.

I am extremely excited for this new chapter in my life. I thoroughly believe that my strong work ethic, elite sporting experience, resilience and determination will help me achieve everything I wish to achieve within this sport!

Thank you for reading. I would be grateful for any help and support you wish to give.

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