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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Rotary Club cash helps Cumbrian athlete keep Deaflympics dream alive

A gold medal contender for next year’s Olympic games for deaf people has moved a step closer to reaching her fundraising challenge.

Bethan Lishman photo
Bethan Lishman

Bethan Lishman was hit with the news this year that she had to raise £3,200 to take part in the hammer throwing event at the Deaflympics in Bulgaria.

The 28-year-old from Brigham, near Cockermouth, started appealing to local businesses and key community figures to try and bring in some cash in September.

After a frustrating two months which saw only £130 raised, the Rotary Club of Cockermouth has pledged £1,000 to her cause after reading about Bethan’s plight in the News & Star.

The donation has boosted her confidence and she is now more determined than ever to bring in the remaining amount so that she can realise her dream.

“A great deal of pressure has been lifted by getting the money and I feel like I can now concentrate on the things that matter – the training,” said Bethan.

“I keep dreaming of winning a medal and coming home and sharing it with everyone who had the belief in me.”

Although Bethan is ranked number five in the world at hammer throwing, she receives no support from sporting bodies and has to raise the cash herself.

Deaf athletes do not get the same financial support as competitors in the Olympics and Paralympics – and funding for the British squad has been slashed because of the London Paralympics.

Now that Bethan, who was born with a hearing impediment, has got a significant amount raised, she is asking the community to get behind her and help generate the rest of the money.

When Bethan’s not working for Carlisle Leisure Limited at Workington Leisure Centre, she will be training at Wigan with coach Bob Halliwell. And she competes around the country with Wigan Harriers.

She also teaches sign language to toddlers.

The athlete, who has a personal best of 46.60m, has competed at international level in countries including Turkey and Taipei.

To sponsor Bethan call her on 07734802214.

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