ALB Group has donated £5k towards the Nottingham-based British Synchronized Ice Skating team after it appealed for funds to attend the World Championships in the US later this month.
Arran Bailey, managing director of the Nottingham property firm, was shocked to learn that the elite squad of 19 skaters will receive no external funding for representing Great Britain at the World Synchronized Skating Championships in Lake Placid between March 31 and April 1.
That trip alone will cost an estimated £38,000, while members of the squad, known as Team Icicles, which is based at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre, also have to pay for their own coaching, travel, accommodation and equipment on a daily basis.
This is the fourth year in a row that the Nottingham squad has been selected to represent Team GB in the World Championships, even though it was formed in only 2018.
Emily Potter, vice-captain of Team Icicles, set up a gofundme appeal to help her team mates but, prior to ALB’s donation, it had raised only £1k of the £30k target.
ALB Group is now calling on other Nottingham businesses to follow its lead, in a last-ditch effort to support some of the country’s top international athletes and show the world how generous Nottingham people can be.
Arran said: “This group of women is truly amazing – and their achievements for Great Britain and Nottingham in the face of a complete lack of regular funding support is nothing less than remarkable.
“Nottingham is a great city, so I’d love to see other local business owners like myself lend a hand and help celebrate some of our home-made talent.
“Team Icicles is working wonders in putting Nottingham on the world sporting map, so let’s all get together and reward their efforts with some effort of our own!”
The synchronized ice skating team is made up of 19 women between the ages of 17 and 27, who travel from all over the UK to train at Nottingham’s Ice Centre every weekend.
Despite being elite athletes, excelling at both dance and ice skating, most members of the team must also work full-time jobs to afford the high costs involved in participating in the sport at this level.
Amy Daniels (23), the off-ice dance coach for the team, said: “The girls are so grateful for Arran’s generous donation and his appeal to other businesses to help out too.
“To have this kind of support really helps relieve some of the financial burden, as well as providing some well-deserved recognition for all their hard work.
“You don’t see the top footballers having to fund their own training, let alone paying their own fare to the World Cup, so it’s unfortunate that our girls need to go cap in hand, despite all their success.
“They are literally among the best in the world at what they do, so I’d urge as many people as possible to help out if they can.”
Emily Potter, who set up the gofundme appeal, said: "ALB’s £5,000 donation is an amazing amount. The World Championships is the pinnacle of our season, where all the world’s best teams come together to compete so me and the team are truly grateful for this generous donation.
“We can't thank Arran enough, and words can't begin to describe how much this means to each and every one of us. If there are any other businesses who would be interested in helping us achieve our goal, please reach out to us."
Any individual or business interested in supporting Team Icicles in its bid for World Championship success in Lake Placid, please visit https://gofund.me/549ccd82.