Kelly signs sponsorship with OLBG to keep Olympic 2012 dreams alive!

 

Last week OLBG announced its sponsorship of Great Britain’s Kelly Sibley, reigniting her hopes of competing in the London Olympics next year. Having lost her funding from UK sports, Kelly feared that her dream to compete at the London 2012 Olympics would be shattered unless she was able to secure sponsorship, and OLBG have come to the rescue just in time.

The sponsorship will provide her with every day finances to enable her continued full time training at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield where she and other Olympic hopefuls like Jessica Ennis train. Not only are OLBG supporting Kelly’s day-to-day finances, they are also funding a trip for Kelly to go on a training trip to China.

Richard Moffat, Chief Operating Officer at OLBG.com, commented: ‘After speaking with Kelly, we felt this trip to China would enable her to train with the world’s best table tennis players and help her compete at her best at London 2012. Unfortunately there have been funding cuts for some GB Olympic hopefuls like Kelly, but we are only too pleased to step in and play our small part in helping Team GB have a successful London 2012.
 

AfterDark PingPong got in touch with Kelly to find what she thinks about the sponsorship and discuss how important the funding is to her.

“It’s just a great help and I’m really thankful for OLBG. Now it just gives me the opportunity to focus 100% on my training without having to worry about funding things myself. It’s just a great weight that has been lifted off my shoulders and I just hope I can really push on now knowing I have their support!


I’m very grateful to OLBG for supporting me, especially funding the trip to China. This is a great opportunity to train with the best in the world and allow me to peak at the right time. With OLBG’s sponsorship in place I can now focus 100% on my training and strive to do my best, both for myself and my country.”

OLBG.com is a sports betting community where knowledgeable punters discuss, analyse and make predictions on a wide variety of sporting and non-sporting events – from football matches and horse races to new football club managers and X-Factor eliminations.

Many british Table Tennis players have found themselves under pressure recently. Although British players are winning more ITTF matches and events than ever before, they have had their funding cut. For the 2012 Olympics, the British table tennis team found their funding cut by more than 50% since 2009 to £1.2 million. This cut makes Table Tennis the lowest funded of all Olympic sports. The cuts have left many players like Kelly financially stranded.

What makes funding even more important is that many GB players have to travel abroad to play their club matches. Kelly Sibley plays her matches in Spain whilst Paul Drinkhall plays his club matches in Castell Goffreddoon, Italy. This is because the level of play in the UK is not competitive enough so they have to travel through Europe just to improve as a player. With less funding they can no longer do this, thus allowing them to only compete in the domestic leagues. For more on the funding read our blog GB TT: Where’s My Money?

It is great to see Kelly has got the sponsorship that gives her the best opportunity possible of competing in next years Olympics. Hosting the Olympics is all about seeing as much local talent competing as possible and we thank OLBG for giving Kelly this lifeline. Hopefully this will encourage other organizations to sponsor GB athletes aiming to compete because with the huge funding cuts, many players have seen their Olympics preparation put on hold. Its just really good to know that one of our athletes now can focus more on the sport she loves, than the day to day financials problems which force so many budding stars to have to quit there dreams.

Jojo @ ADPP
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