Sussex Sevens stars: Help us save our Olympic dream
Two Sussex members of England’s Rugby Sevens squad are among players inviting fans to help them get to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics following drastic funding cuts.
England Rugby have announced the Sevens teams would have all their funding cut, just ten months away from the postponed Games.
Players had been working full time and pursuing professional Olympic training schedules up to September, working as delivery drivers, coaches and teachers to keep the dream alive. The sudden loss of funding represents a serious setback for both teams, but they are determined to pull together and find new ways of keeping their Olympic dreams alive.
The men’s side includes Tom Mitchell, who attended Worth School in Crawley, and Tom Bowen, who has Brighton and Eastbourne links and played for Lewes as a junior.
The teams have set up a page at www.onlinearenas.com where fans can pledge support for the teams in exchange for exclusive content, coaching tips and insights into their Tokyo journey, from the early morning training sessions to the gold medal-winning podium spot.
The squads are crowdfunding through Pledge Sports and have teamed up with Online Arenas, a sports platform that allows fans to interact directly with sports and fitness professionals.
Bowen said: “The funding cuts, though devastating, have forced us to be positive and think for ourselves and solve problems off the pitch. The process of going out to find funding is empowering, as is the idea of sharing the journey with our supporters. We are asking our fans to be our heroes and we will do everything we can to be theirs.”