Earlier this month, WSFF released new research showing that since September 2011 only 0.4% of the value of reported sponsorship deals in sport has gone to women. This isn’t good news for women.
Here at Sport Watch, we’re hoping as many people as possible will pull together to support our Bristol women – starting with our women’s Ultimate Frisbee club on their way to the World Ultimate Championships in 2014.
We are Nice Bristols – a top flight women’s Ultimate Frisbee club based in Bristol. The club was founded in 2004 and we are now ranked second in the UK and recently qualified for the World Ultimate Club Championships in 2014. We have also been ‘Spirit of the Game’ winners at both UK Nationals and the European Club Championships for two-years running.
Qualifying for the World Championships has provided the whole squad with the chance to experience a number of new challenges. There is the intensive weights and training programme and the imminent fitness test, but the biggest challenge we are currently facing is raising enough money to make this tournament an option for all our squad members regardless of their financial situation.
The total cost for Worlds is estimated at £15,000 – £17,000, but we are focussing on the more achievable goal of raising £4000 to cover the tournament fees for the whole squad. Even this is no small undertaking however, as we are all either in full-time work or education.
We have been working really hard over the last few months to raise the profile of the club, especially within Bristol, and to get our fundraising campaign underway. So far we have managed to raise £1000 through cake sales (everyone loves cake!), a pub quiz, a raffle and easyfundraising.org, and we have started to build relationships with local businesses that are supporting us, including Pieminister, Aeolus and Friska. We have also just launched a fundraising campaign through indiegogo where we are hoping to raise at least £3000.
Whilst the short-term goal is obviously to get all of our squad to Worlds, we are also mindful that our journey does not end there. Qualifying for Worlds has given us a platform to help raise the awareness of not only Nice Bristols and Ultimate, but also women’s participation in sport. Organisations such as Sportsister, Sport Watch Bristol, the Women’s Sport Trust, and WSFF are doing amazing work in raising the profile of women’s sports and we want to be a part of that in every way we can.
As a team we find playing sport adds so much to our lives on various levels. The regular exercise not only improves physical and mental health, but it provides an amazingly supportive community. Being a part of Nice Bristols means you are part of a family, where strong friendship bonds are created. This supportive atmosphere that we value so highly encourages our players to continue playing sport after leaving education and well into their 40s.
Qualifying for Worlds is a massive achievement for us and we want to use this opportunity to encourage new players, create role models within the local community and to inspire our younger players to continue for years to come and provide a solid foundation for the future of our club. All we need to do is conquer our first challenge… If you would like to support our road to worlds and help us become role models for other women and girls in Bristol and the UK please visit our website. You can also donate to our campaign on indigogo.
With thanks to Pete Rawlinson Photography for his photographic contributions.