An aspiring Olympian is appealing for support from Yorkshire sports fans after finding the search for athletics glory is no walk in the park.
Headingley-based athlete Tom Bosworth, who is the third fastest British race walker in history over 20km, has set his sights on competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, but having failed to secure National Lottery funding he is hoping to raise £2,000 so he can continue to train up to three times a day and chase his Olympic dream.
The 24-year-old works with a nutritionist, psychologist and physio every week at UK Athletics’ National Race Walking Centre at Leeds Metropolitan University and now, having graduated, needs extra support.
Despite having some sponsors and doing freelance sports massage work, he needs help paying for a years’ worth of gym passes, racing trainers and living costs, so has set up a Talent Backer crowdfunding webpage.
After moving to Leeds from Kent five years ago to complete an athletics scholarship, Tom narrowly missed out on a place at London 2012 but this year finished 12th at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich – the highest placing by a British man in the 20km walk at the championships in 32 years.
He said: “It’s not a huge amount but it will actually go a long way. I’ve missed family weddings because of training camps and events but hopefully it will all be worth it when I’m standing on the start line in Rio.”
As Britain’s number one race walker, Tom qualified for UK Sport National Lottery ‘potential podium’ funding but was not issued one of the limited spots. He got into the sport aged 12 and hopes to raise its profile in the UK starting with a top 20 finish in next year’s World Championships in Beijing.
Race walking is an Olympic sport that is staged over 20km or 50km. The rules are that competitors must always maintain contact with the ground and competitors’ landing leg must always land with a straight knee.
Visit www.talentbacker.com/talents/view/tom-bosworth to donate before the December 2 deadline.