Paralympians are having to ask for donations as Paralympics GB doesn't provide

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Paralympians and Athletes of Para-Ice Hockey are asking for donations for them to compete for the UK in National Competitions.

Para-Ice Hockey is a worldwide sport that gets little recognition on the world stage in terms of viewership, and is a struggling sport in the UK, but is community driven and unfortunately a self-funded sport.

This means that all equipment, gear and the other necessities required have to be paid by the player, even on the National Paralympics Team.

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Paul Brown, of the Sheffield SteelKings and of Team GB said: “It's one of those sports that's absolutely fantastic 'cause no matter where your background is, it's got something for you”

Team GB for Para-Ice HockeyTeam GB for Para-Ice Hockey
Team GB for Para-Ice Hockey

Team GB for Para-Ice Hockey won the 2023 nationals play offs and Great Britain will play in the next IPC Pool-B Tournament, which will take place in Norway this April.

But this pride for country can only go so far as to even compete for your country is costing ‘£2000 per player’. Mr Brown said:

“If there wasn't any donations, the sport would die”

This is due to the lack of funding in the sport as ‘nothing in the English system is set aside for GB Para-Ice Hockey’

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Chairwoman of Para-Ice Hockey Megan McEvoy said: “Athletes are self funded in that it is their responsibility to pay for everything be that through fundraising, personal sponsors, grants from charities or simply out of pocket.”

Furthermore, due to the nature of training and camps for Team GB, it costs a further £500 per month to attend these and the costs are not funded or substituted to help the players.

This is not the case for the rest of the world in Para-Ice Hockey, who actively receive funding and salaries for competing at the national level.

This is even made worse by Paralympics GB, as they make videos for the public, and keep all profits for themselves.

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Para-Ice Hockey fan Bailey Astle said: “The sport is so small and community driven, that most games are free entry, just because that little bit of exposure to the sport is crucial”

These issues within Paralympics GB, partnered with the disabilities these players face, mean a lot of the players are unemployed and in debt due to the sport they love and competing at the national level.

I contacted Paralympics GB but they gave no comment to the matter.

The GoFundMe is linked here to donate to the cause.