A Lewisham sprinter is advertising on eBay hoping to secure a £30,000 sponsorship deal to confirm his place in Team GB for the Olympics.
James Ellington, 26, has been unable to compete for four years due to an injury, but is now back on top form, running 200m in the fastest time by a British athlete this year at a non-altitude venue.
The winning bid will pay Ellington wage, which will allow him to train around the clock and secure his place to compete in London 2012. It will also cover things like travel expenses and medical bills.
Sponsors in return get the opportunity to have Ellington wear their branded kit whenever possible from now until the Games finish next year.
The auction will run for ten days, starting on December 7. Ellington said it is getting “pretty hectic”, the phone has not stopped ringing, and there has been a high level of interest.
Support also comes from his hometown of Lewisham, where Ellington coaches a squad of young people every Wednesday at the Ladywell Arena in Catford. Some of his students have been spreading the word by tweeting their support.
Working as a coach means Ellington has seen first hand how the Olympics are benefitting London. He is impressed by the money being “pumped in to grassroots athletics” and believes the Olympics is already encouraging more young people to take up sport.
And why should sponsors get behind James? The sprinter said: “The British public people need to support home grown talent, I’m just a normal everyday guy.”
Ellington is grateful to the support he received growing up in Lewisham, where he continues to train today. He first entered the world of athletics aged fourteen, relying on his mother to drive him to the local track, and began training seriously at 18.
Are you a company who wants to support Britain’s home grown talent? Place your bid here.