Information about sponsorship
The Leicester Cobras Wheelchair Basketball Club are a registered charity (No. 1020100) and as such rely heavily on sponsorship and donations from companies, organisations or individuals. Unlike the running game of basketball played by able bodied players, it is considerably more expensive to play wheelchair basketball, as the special wheelchairs that are used in the game can cost in the region of £2,500 to £4,500 each; and each player’s chair is individually made to suit their own specific needs.
The Cobras looking to enter four teams into the national BWB leagues for the 2016/17 season, these being; Cobras-1 in the national first or second division, Cobras-2 in the national fourth division (for beginners and less experienced players), Cobras Juniors in the national under 19’s junior league and Cobras Women in the national women’s league. The cost of running a competitive wheelchair basketball club with four teams for a season is about £40,000. This cost covers things like court fees, referees fees, travel costs, training cost and league registration.
The Cobras have a wealth of talented players, past players have competed in the Women’s GB Team at the London 2012 Paralympics. Some of the younger players are ideally placed to be in a position of being chosen to play for their country in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. To achieve this they will need coaching at a high level and a considerable amount of court time. This presents the Cobras with a fantastic opportunity but also a real concern over funding.
Unfortunately for the Cobras several funding sources have just recently dried up. The Cobras are also finding it harder to access money from some funding groups, because of an increase in competition from other disabled sports groups who are preparing for the Paralympics. Because of this we have had to cut back on our training sessions just at the time when we need to increase them. This will have a very big effect on the players, especially the new and inexperienced ones that the Cobras are trying to develop.
The club’s former chairman Mike Foster said:
“Our objective is to provide, where possible, the facilities and opportunities for players to progress to the highest competitive levels of wheelchair basketball and at the same time to bring on new players into the sport. Currently we have some very talented players who have the potential to get to the next Paralympics in Rio and we should be opening the doors for them to achieve their ambitions. It is a product of our own success, over the years, that our rapidly increasing membership is generating so many talented players. This rapid increase in membership is putting considerable pressure on the clubs funds and we may have to consider limiting membership numbers as well as having to restrict the number of training sessions required to successfully deliver the levels of coaching needed for the differing skill levels of the players. We will have to work really hard in the coming months to raise sufficient funds for the club to continue to grow successfully. It would be a great shame, if due to the lack of funds, that the club was restricted in its efforts to take advantage of such a huge opportunity to develop some extremely talented players”.
The Cobras are facing increased travel costs for our away matches. So for the Cobras to be able to run four teams we are going to have to raise a budget of at least £40,000 per season. So as you can see it can get pretty expensive to put a team together.
So the Cobras are appealing for support to enable them to push forward and develop the Cobras into a powerful force within wheelchair basketball. If anyone would like to contact the Cobras about funding opportunities please contact Ian Trott (the clubs chairman). The contact details can be found on the Contact the Cobras page.