'People who have sponsors are at an advantage because they have support from other people. That extra backing can sometimes be the edge in such a competitive sport, where the line of failure and success are so slim’. Brandon Timmins, an 19 year old 400m runner, part of Shrewsbury athletics club, discusses the 'Highs' and 'Lows' of been an athlete.
Brandon explains how he has been involved in athletics since a young age, 'I’m 19 years old now, and I’ve been competing in athletics since the age of 5. Like so many kids, I always looked up to my older brother who inspired me into the world of athletics.' He jokingly says. ‘At about the age of nine it was quite evident that I was never going to be a power athlete, my strengths always lied in the running side of things. As a kid my parent were always telling me to slow down !’
Brandon talks about how he came to choosing the 400m as his specialist event.
‘Its defiantly one of the hardest events to train for – I can tell you that from experience’. He raises both eye brows. ‘I kind of fell into it – the longer distance races never really suited me and the quicker sprints like the 100 and 200m I was never quite fast enough for’. Brandon then says, 'A lot of the events are favoured by genetics. And shier hard work won’t always be the key to success, so for me lied the 400m and 800m events at which I could run in very good times’.
Brandon has run some very impressive times in the 400m and has placed very high in the larger events around the country, however at this moment in time he has yet to find a sponsor. Brandon had a insight as to why this may be. ‘In most of the running events you find that the athlete’s who get sponsored are the ones who have the best times and who regularly place high in the big county competitions’.
It is often reported that unsponsored athlete’s struggle to fund themselves whilst having to train so rigorously. He continues to say, ‘ I’m quite fortunate in that the 400m isn’t the most expensive sport to fund. We naturally have to have days off in order to recover our body’. He expands, ‘ During this time I work in a local coffee shop which pays for all my gear as well as the membership to the club and a gym’.
Brandon expresses his opinion on the topic of sponsorships saying. ‘I think they are very beneficial for the athletes that have them. They certainly help financially in paying for things such as gym memberships, travel, equipment and attire’.
He openly states,
‘I feel people who have sponsors are at an advantage because they have support from other people. And that extra backing can sometimes be the edge in such a competitive sport, where the line of failure and success are so slim’.
What’s next? Following the interview with Brandon, I will be meeting up with a sponsored athlete for their views on sponsorship, and an insight into the process of sponsorship.
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