GB Paralympic football team to miss out on medal because of lack of sponsor

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Matt Dimbylow: Team GB Paralympian
Matt Dimbylow: Team GB Paralympian

The GB Paralympic football team is pleading for a blue-chip brand to sponsor the team, saying that if the team receives funding from a backer if could "make a medal a realistic possibility" in the London 2012 Paralympics.

There are two Paralympic football tournaments at the London 2012 games – the cerebral palsy seven-a-side and the blind five-a-side tournament.

The GB Paralympic football teams, unlike other Paralympic sports, do not receive funding from UK Sport, the body which oversees National Lottery and government funding of sport.

The Paralympic football teams do, however, receive some funding from the Football Association (FA).

But according to Matt Dimbylow, who is representing ParalympicsGB at London 2012 in the seven-a-side cerebal palsy football team, the funding from the FA is not enough and means the team is unlikely to get a medal at the Paralympics.

Dimbylow said: "If we get a sponsor then it makes a medal a real possibility."

Funding from a brand could help them train more, improve the facilities they work in, and improve coaching levels.

There are less than 100 days to go to the start of the London Paralympics.

At the moment, Dimbylow says he is practicing as many as hours as possible ahead of the Paralympics.

But he said that because of the lack of sponsor the team can’t afford to train as much as they would like, despite the Paralympics being just months away.

At the moment, Dimbylow said he is being forced to sell scratch-cards to help fund the team's preparations for the Paralympics.

It is unclear how much funding the ParalympicGB team receives from the FA. Disabled sports receive different levels of funding from UK Sport.

For example, elite disability sailing receives £1,742,900 over a four-year period while wheelchair fencing receives £545,892 over the same period.

BT sponsors individual Paralympians while Sainsbury is a sponsor of the Paralympics.

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