Sponsorship needed for visually impaired skiers from Earls Barton and Wellingborough

Outspan Rebels
Outspan Rebels

Two young athletes are looking for sponsorship as they bid for glory on the ski slope.

Josh, 15, from Earls Barton and Eilidh, 10, from Wellingborough are part of Outspan Rebels, a visually impaired ski team and a satellite club to Ski MK Race based at Milton Keynes.

Outspan is the first of it’s kind, encouraging visually impaired athletes to train and race alongside and compete with able bodied athletes.

They encourage visually impaired people to try skiing, to help them develop to a standard that allows them to ski with a sighted guide and help them to progress further - either to ski better recreationally or try racing.

Josh has been racing against able bodied racers for two years, and even though he is visually impaired, he often beats the able bodied competitors.

For the first time in ski racing history, a structure has been created for visually impaired athletes to race against able bodied racers in the UK.

By using a factored time blind athletes are able to realistically compete and podium alongside a sighted racer.

With this structure in place to ensure they produce the highest quality visually impaired athletes from a very young age, it means youngsters are as prepared as their able bodied counter parts when they reach a suitable age for Paralympic development.

So far this year Outspan Rebels have encouraged 45 visually impaired people to try skiing and their race team has out performed expectations.

Four of their racers, incluidng Josh, have now been elevated to an elite squad to prepare them for the final step before Team GB selection.

But to keep all of this going, they need funds.

Essential training in the mountains can be a huge expense for a visually impaired athlete and they are always looking for more sponsors.

The young athletes also get involved by doing their own fundraising.

This year Josh came up with the idea to run, swim and cycle the distance to Tignes in France from their base in Milton Keynes.

He has managed to rope in support from two team members and their target is £3,000 which will support five athletes and their guides to attend the British Alpine Championships in Tignes in April.

They are also asking for help from athletes and celebrities, including Eliddh and Josh who will be swimming with Ellie Robinson at Virgin Northampton on October 6.

For more details about the team, click here