Lewisham Olympic hopeful James Ellington yesterday secured a sponsorship deal with British toiletries company King of Shaves, after his unconventional approach of attracting a sponsor on eBay was unsuccessful.
The 26-year-old sprinter contacted King of Shaves when his dreams of winning a medal seemed severely jeopardised after the £32,500 highest eBay bid turned out to be a hoax at the end of the 10-day auction that closed on December 17.
Ellington, currently ranked 55th in the world for the men’s 200m, told EastLondonLines: “I’m over the moon. King of Shaves are perfect for me, they’re such an up-and-coming brand.”
He explained that although his life had not changed very much since December, having secured the funding will finally allow him to train full-time and has given him more motivation to train longer and harder.
In order to be in the best shape possible at the start of the Olympics, the south Londoner will spend four weeks training in April in Orlando, Florida.
“The weather there is better for training than in Britain and I can be one hundred per cent focused there,” he said.
King of Shaves will cover expenses that include travelling, hotels, nutrition, private medical costs and provide him with sports kit.
Ellington said he will wear the kit of the sponsor at all opportunities leading up to the Olympic Games.
Prior to his call for sponsorship on eBay, Ellington had been unable to compete for four years and missed out on important fundraising due to an injury. He is now back in top form however, striking gold for the British senior sprints squad in the 2011 European Team Championships