The GB wheelchair rugby team has been thrown a cash lifeline after their entire funding was pulled – much to the delight of one of the players who is from Morecambe.
War-hero turned GB athlete Stuart Robinson said: “It’s great news and any funding coming in will be helpful.”
LMAX Exchange, a technology firm, announced the ground-breaking partnership with GB Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) which will assist with funding as the team prepares for the 2017 European Championships in Germany and the 2018 World Championships in Australia.
Stuart said: “For LMAX Exchange to jump on board to start the partnership is great news for everyone involved.
“All eyes are on the European Championships . Last year we won the title and this year we want to prove to Europe and the world that we are still a force to be reckoned with. We have agood squad and we are pretty confident.
“We are the current title holders but if we do win at the European Championships it means we qualify for the world championships in Sydney next year, and automatically qualify for Tokyo in 2020. We are still looking for sponsors but LMAX have stepped in to start the ball rolling.”
The recent news that UK Sport was ceasing all funding to wheelchair rugby was a blow to the team, creating uncertainty for the athletes and putting the future of the iconic sport at risk.
David Pond, CEO of GB Wheelchair Rugby said: ‘’It is a real boost to know that LMAX Exchange has the confidence to invest in us as a sport. It feels good to be partnered with a company at the cutting edge of its business because we also aspire to be the world’s best and believe in our potential to achieve medal success.”
As well as seeking new partnerships, GBWR is appealing for the general public to show its support and has launched a Just GivingFundraising campaign at http://gbwr.org.uk which is being led by England rugby star Mike Brown who said:“It’s great that LMAX Exchange is getting behind the team.”