Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association

Some thoughts on funding and sponsorship

The end of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and the imminent arrival of the European Wrestling competition in our own sporting world, inevitably highlight the huge differences of attitudes and finance in the sporting world. The funding of Olympic sports depends entirely on medal scores rather than the scale of participation.
The recent Winter Olympics was proclaimed as a great success when our athletes won one gold medal and four bronzes.

  • As part of that the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association was allocated just over £5m. Five months before the event the women's team was informed they could no longer be funded. The two of them sought crowd funding and were able to compete creditably, finishing mid-table.
  • Meanwhile, both four-man bobs were declared illegal during checks the night before their event and were only able to compete after borrowing runners from rivals. They finished 17th and 18th.
  • There are 137 participants in bobsleigh and they receive five million pounds.
  • Basketball has 150,000 active participants and receives no Olympic funding at all.

Of course our wrestling is outside the usual funding sources, and remains a very self-sufficient organisation, so when the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association took on the organisation of the European Espoirs Championships for the International Federation of Celtic Wrestling, special efforts and contacts had to be made. The resulting list of sponsors is a delight to behold. The bottom line, the main foundation of the funding, come from local authorities and regional organisations: Cumbria County Council, Allerdale, Carlisle, Eden District, South Lakeland, and the Lake District National Park. Their contribution is essential.
Rising up from that base are over thirty local companies and individuals contributing a range of sponsorship. They range from local shows to Young Farmers Club, Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association, veterinary surgeons, accountants and solicitors, and farm suppliers, as well as locally based businesses such as Sealy beds.
I particularly like the tale that John Wharton, auctioneer and chairman of the Cumberland Show, ex-wrestler and parent of the next generation of active wrestlers, was at a meeting of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association when he mentioned our need of sponsors, and immediately we were £500 nearer our target.
Simultaneously, Wrestling Association chairman, Linda Scott, was in negotiations with the Herdy Pottery and came away with enthusiastic support and a mascot for the team.

Team & Herdy:  Standing L to R - Sam Wilson, Jason Davidson (coach), Alice Bates, Emily Davidson, Zak Singleton, Frazer Cansfield, Alan Jones (coach), Andrew Carlile (coach), Kneeling L to R - Michael Kirkham, Herdy, Jacob Cansfield. Thomas Gibson was on holiday. Team Strip: Standing - Michael Kirkham, Sam Wilson, Alice Bates, Zak Singleton, Emily Davidson, Jacob Cansfield, Frazer Cansfield.

Professional photographer, Tim Fisher was at the weekly training session to photograph most of the team with new wrestling strips, uniform and mascot.

(Written by Roger Robson ..... ©All Photographs on this site are the copyright of Roger Robson, Jill Robson, Julian Richardson, Linda Scott or Webmaster. Unauthorised usage is forbidden {2017} ©)

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