Sportsman denied shot at gold medal

PUBLISHED: 08:26 25 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:58 15 June 2010

A WORLD CLASS sports-man from Honiton will have to miss an international competition in Italy, because UK Sport will no longer sponsor non-Olympic games.

A WORLD CLASS sports-man from Honiton will have to miss an international competition in Italy, because UK Sport will no longer sponsor non-Olympic games.Ben Bradstock, 28, of Jerrards Close, is tipped for a place in the England squad for the World Surf Casting championships, being held in Rome in August.Dennis Retter, of Offwell, is the squad's coach. He is also chairman of Honiton Sea Angling Club and has watched Ben reach the international standard in the long slinging of sea weights."He has applied for the selection process, through the National Federation of Sea Anglers. He is fairly new in the sport, but I expect him to reach the England first team," he said.UK Sport once offered sponsorship of up to £1,800, but this was reduced last year to less than half. This year, there is no sponsorship money available at all."It is because Ben is competing in a non-Olympic sport," said Mr Retter.The sport was at the last Olympics, four years ago, but it was ruled out of the competition in China, because the Olympic Committee deemed not enough countries are participating.Mr Retter says at least 10 countries are regularly fielding candidates."I get more recognition abroad than I do in England," he added. "Ben is one of our top casters and I don't want to not see him in the world championships. It could be the difference between us getting gold or not."A spokesperson for UK Sport said: "Unfortunately, it is true - we do not sponsor individuals for non-Olympic sports."Sport England, a separate organisation, said it only funds projects, not individuals.If you can sponsor Ben, call Mr Retter on (01404) 831667.


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