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Stodel will be 'financially destroyed' by Paralympic glory bid
10:05am Friday 29th June 2012 in Sport
HANNAH Stodel says she and her team-mates will be financially “destroyed” by their pursuit of Paralympic sailing glory.
The 27-year-old from West Mersea, together with helm John Robertson and Stephen Thomas, will be flying the flag for their country in the sailing Sonar class at the Games in September, but their bid is coming at a high price.
The trio were at Five Lakes Golf and Country Club yesterday after owners Crowne Plaza Resort had donated the venue to them for a fundraising golf day and Stodel revealed to the Gazette how crucial that kind of support is.
She said: “It was totally unexpected, but great to get.
“I use the gym here when I’m at home and it’s so kind of them to offer Five Lakes for us to fund raise.
“That’s amazing because we are still short of money.
“I ordered a load of sails that are crucial for the Paralympics, but that’s gone and blown our budget and the timing of this couldn’t be better.
“It’s ridiculously tight at the moment.
“We’re going to be destroyed financially by the end of the Paralympics, but that’s what it takes.
“This year alone, we’re looking at £150,000.
“That includes all our regattas, tuning crews and extra sails.
“We’re just lucky that we’ve got my mum fundraising for us full-time and we’ve been lucky getting donations, but we’re still going to be struggling to actually pay the bills.”
Stodel said she has had to fund the campaign using credit cards, which will have to be paid off once the Games have finished.
She added: “People may think it’s all given on a plate, but there’s not enough in the UK sports budget to just hand over whatever cash we want.
“Sailing is one of those sports that just swallows money and the more support we can get the better it is.
“We are limited by our budget right now, but the more we can raise, the more training we can do.
“We think what can we afford to do rather than what we need to do.
“That’s why things like the golf day at Five Lakes are so important.
“We get UK Sport funding and money through the RYA (Royal Yachting Association), but they can only give us so much.
“They effectively give us 50 per cent of the budget, but the rest we have to find ourselves.
“The sails alone cost £22,000, just for the Paralympic sails.
“So that’s the kind of figures we’re working with.
“Then we’re having to pay a tuning crew because we’re the only British boat.
“We’re talking £500 a day for a professional crew and when you add that up, we’re spending £30,000 on training crew alone.
“It’s a very challenging situation.”