A YOUNG judo star from Cam is appealing for sponsorship to help him realise his Olympic dream.
James Hayes, 15, is a member of England Judo’s cadet squad and needs funds to enable him to participate in vital competitions and training camps this year.
The 15-year-old won bronze in the U66kg category at the British Championships in Sheffield last month and enjoyed a successful 2012, with the highlight being a sixth place at a top international competition in Holland with over 100 players taking part.
He is currently ranked third in England and Great Britain, and is hoping to fight against the best in Europe in order to enhance his development.
Hayes has two important ranking competitions coming up over the next two months in Northern Ireland and Scotland and has to remain in the top three to compete on the continent, with a tournament in Portugal coming up in April.
With travelling costs, accommodation, entry fees and attire costing over £5,000 per year, he has sent a letter out to local companies asking for help.
“He’s very ambitious and does hope to compete at the Olympics in 2020,” said his mum Donna.
“Even if someone could sponsor a trip or his suit it would be helpful. His suit is £180 and he needs two new ones every year. “He needs to compete on the European circuit because they’ve got very strong players, especially in Eastern Europe, and he needs to be training and fighting with them to improve. That is where he is going to learn most.”
Last year Hayes was grateful to receive support from the Dursley Lions and B.Walker & Co. Donna added: “They provided funding for him that enabled him to go to European competitions and training camps that was crucial as he’s obliged to go with them to fulfil his England cadet role.
“Without funding he wouldn’t have been able to go and could’ve lost his place in the squad.” Anyone interested in sponsoring James should email firstname.lastname@example.org