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Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Saturday, 24 July 2010 12:55 UK

GB women's volleyball team in bike-ride fund raiser


Volleyball women pedalling European dream

The Great Britain women's volleyball team have embarked on a 272-mile bike ride to raise the £250,000 necessary to keep their 2012 Olympic dream alive.

Following funding cuts, the team may have to cancel training programmes and thereby jeopardise their chances of being competitive at the London games.

They began their journey from their Sheffield base to London on Saturday.

They are due to arrive in the capital on Tuesday, two years exactly until the London Olympics opening ceremony.

"It's no surprise to me the girls are doing this, knowing their determination and energy," coach Audrey Cooper told the official GB women's volleyball website.

"They are not willing to turn up at London 2012 under-prepared. They want to be as good as they can be at our home Olympics to make the country proud.


"We started from nothing in 2007 and we've improved out of sight since then. We are simply not prepared to give up now."

The ride has also received the backing of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is the MP for Sheffield Hallam.

"It gives me great pride as a local MP to see that the ladies GB volleyball team are prepared to cycle to London to raise as much money as possible so that they can fund their training," he said.

"This really is an inspirational act and I am sure that the public will be backing the team and offering their encouragement to them on their journey."

The planned route will take the team through Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicester, Stratford, Oxford, Reading, Hampton Court, Richmond Park, Westminster and Trafalgar Square, before coming to an end at Earls Court on Tuesday night.

Along the way, they will take part in demonstration volleyball events, offer the public rides on a seven-seater-bike, provide an inflatable volleyball court and meet local people to spread the word of their venture.

Volleyball was one of eight sports to have had London 2012 funding slashed in January because of a £50m budget shortfall.

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see also
Slovakia end Britain's Euro hopes
28 May 10 |  Volleyball
Volleyball chiefs angered by cuts
13 Feb 09 |  Olympics
Olympic sports hit by funding cut
29 Jan 09 |  Olympics
GB volleyball boost for Sheffield
01 Dec 09 |  Volleyball
GB name beach volleyball coaches
18 Dec 06 |  Volleyball

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