WILTSHIRE ice maidens Abi Davies and Anna Alexander-Holmes are on the hunt for more sponsorship as they look to grab their first taste of high-octane competition at next month’s British Bobsleigh Championships.
Alexander-Holmes, 19, from Holt, and Trowbridge’s Davies, 18, took to the ice for the first time at a British Bobsleigh Futures Programme training camp in Igls, Austria, last month and both are set to return to the same track as drivers for the British Championships on March 8.
Davies, who like Alexander-Holmes, receives funding through the Talented Athletes Scholarship Scheme (TASS), is set to compete in Igls as a driver, with Elly Donaldson, from Crewe, as her brakewoman.
“I don’t think that any of the Winter Olympics guys will be there but I know that the Army and the RAF have sleds and there might be some of the other British international crews – I’m really excited,” said Davies, who studies at Southampton Solent University.
“I’ve had Elly as my partner right from the start of testing. I did give being the brakewoman a go to start with and I did enjoy that but I liked being the driver too.
“We got thrown in at the deep end a bit and went straight on the ice but I absolutely loved it.
“We’ve got to pay about £1,200 for the sled hire and the kit and helmet and then there are things like accommodation and flights to think about.
“I’ve already received a small amount of funding from The Old Bear Inn, Staverton, which I’m really grateful for, but it would be really nice if I could get some sponsorship or raise some more money.”
University of Bath student Alexander-Holmes will be partnered by brakewoman Anya Kay, from Bournemouth, and says she’s doing everything to raise the £2,000 needed for her to make her on-ice bow.
“I’ve raised about £820 so far. I work at Gray’s (hotel) in Bath and we’re trying to organise an auction with a few bits of kit and maybe some hampers from local farmers,” said Alexander-Holmes.
“We’ve already paid for the flights but we need to be able to afford hotels and whatever we spend whilst we’re over there.
“Then, if there’s money left over, we want to try and book to go to another driving school somewhere like St Moritz (Switzerland) because things like that give you the best chance of getting better.
“The training camp was absolutely amazing. I went round as a brakewoman on my first day and the guy piloting crashed pretty hard.
“I didn’t mind the crashing but I prefer to be in control, which is down to my personality. It was just amazing and we clocked up 110 km/h at the finish on one of the runs.
“It’s completely different to what I think people think it to be like. It’s really exciting and I can’t wait to get out there and compete now.”
For more information regarding sponsorship, contact Alexander-Holmes via the Facebook page Help Anna – Get to the British Bobsleigh Championships or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Davies at email@example.com.
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