European indoor 60m hurdles silver medallist turns to crowdfunding to help her cover costs on her road to Rio

After putting herself ‘up for sale’ on eBay in 2013, hurdler Lucy Hatton has returned to the web in a further search for support.

The 20-year-old was hugely grateful for funds generated via her advert on the online auction site two years ago. After juggling three part-time jobs while at college, the extra support meant Hatton was able to concentrate more on her athletics career and she went on to enjoy a strong winter season at the beginning of 2015, breaking and then improving the British under-23 60m hurdles record to 7.90 to go third on the UK senior all-time list as well as claiming European indoor silver in Prague in March.

Injury problems over the summer put paid to her hopes of competing at the World Championships in Beijing but the student athlete is now keen to put those struggles behind her as she works towards her next main aim of the World Indoors, while she also has her sights on the Rio Olympics.

“£1000 is my initial target because that would really help my medical costs, as everybody is aware I had injuries during the outdoor season,” said Hatton, who trains under Jerzy Maciukiewicz in Loughborough. “I’m really happy to say that thanks to my coach and my physio, Andy Burke, we have come out of the dark tunnel and into the light!”

Having originally considered again going via eBay for funding, Hatton was pointed in the direction of Pledge Sports and is offering packages from signed photographs through to meet and greet opportunities and the spikes she was wearing when she won her European indoor silver in return for pledges.

After just one day of her Pledge Sports profile being live, Hatton had already achieved 63% of that initial £1000 goal.

The hurdler had taken a leaf out of James Ellington’s book when she took to eBay in 2013, with the sprinter having hit the headlines two years before that when he put himself up for auction in the run-up to the London Olympics. Since then a number of other athletes have used crowdfunding platforms as a way to fundraise.

“I’ve estimated that £8000 is what I will need to cover everything and that includes coaching fees and training camps,” explained Hatton, who is studying for a degree in criminology at the University of Leicester.

“I found doing my Pledge Sports profile gave me some great perspective on the season and has allowed me to close the chapter on it and move nicely into 2016 with aims and focuses.

“I’m very happy and confident that I will be in good form for the World Indoors but most importantly outdoors,” she added. “This will be my first season with a proper winter training base. I didn’t have one this season so I’m excited to get stuck in.

“I’m injury free and learnt a lot from my mistakes. I’m constantly learning about my body and what does and doesn’t work for me. It’s fantastic that I have such a strong team in place that I believe will get me on that GB team once again.”

» See www.pledgesports.org/projects/team-gb-hurdler