Britain’s leading junior ladies athletics club Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC have issued an online campaign to support their quest to success at the European Champions Club Cup in Instanbul this September.
Having been part of the athletics equivalent of The Champions League for ten out of eleven years, the competition allows the best clubs from around the world to represent their countries for Europe’s biggest club prize.
Opportunities come along in the midst of success, and opportunities come at a cost. Popular with many sports today, the club have taken to online crowd funding in a bid to relieve the pressure on club finances and supporting parents.
With a target of £6,000, the club are urging the public to donate money towards travel, accommodation and kit. However the club will only be awarded if the full amount is donated by the 19th May.
Julie Asher-Smith a member of the campaign believes these crowd funding platforms have created new opportunities for the club;
“I don’t know whether it is going to be as successful funds wise, I hope so. But it is certainly easier to hit home and push the message out. Clearly we have got volunteers in the club, but we don’t have the number of volunteers that we would need to push this successfully, and it’s the same old parents doing it.
“We have done the traditional means such as raffles, barbeques, and that sort of thing. Most parents today have full time jobs which is why we are trying this crowd funding. It’s a bit scary really.”
In 2013 Blackheath & Bromley’s under 20 women’s team came within six points of being crowned European Champions when they finished in third place at Brno in the Czech Republic. The club also achieved a UK record by set three meeting records, winning seven events, and providing the track athlete of the match.
“It’s a very good competition to be part of. Dina (Asher-Smith) has been twice. We usually have people who have been in world juniors. The Turks are really good, the Spanish are really good, and so it’s normally a really good standard of competition.
“I think the year before last all the competitions merged. I know Dina was facing a 100m Bronze medallist from the World juniors. I remember she saw her at the hotel, and the Turkish team were all there. She thought ‘oh god she’s definitely going to beat me,’ but she wiped the floor with her. Even though it’s quite late in the season you have to take your best team!”
Blackheath and Bromley’s team will this year be looking foward to leaving the dissapointment of missing out to Windsor in qualification for the event in 2014. This year the squad will be backed by two GB junior internationals in Shannon and Cherice Hylton.
So far the campaign has recieved just over 50% of its target. Each donater will recieve a thank you reward from the club.