Paralympic gold medal winner offers support in return for sponsorship as he attempts to make history at Paris 2024
Gold medallist Chris Hunt Skelley is looking for sponsors to help cover the costs of training and vital equipment ahead of his bid to become the first double Paralympic champion in 25 years.
Chris is attempting to retain the judo title he won at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, but this time in a new weight category, as his previous weight category was removed this year following changes in IBSA classifications. He is seeking support from businesses keen to be part of his attempt at creating history in Paris 2024.
“Training camps for judo tend to be held around the world. British Judo covers the costs of many of these, but I need to find the funds to pay for the rest, and additional training sessions outside the national training centre” explained Chris. “This is my last dance, so to speak, Paris will be my last Paralympics and I want to create history by being the first person in 25 years to retain their gold Paralympic medal in my sport.”
As well as the training camps, Chris, who lives in Wiltshire, needs to fund many other elements that help to keep him at the pinnacle of his sport such as massages, supplements, the right foods, recovery equipment and coaching for other sporting disciplines that help him to prepare for competition.
Chris was an aspiring rugby player before his sight degraded significantly with ocular albinism. Rather than let his eyesight define him, he worked hard, changing his focus to Judo and eventually reaching world number one in his weight division.
“I have been competing for 12 years. Although I love what I do, my body is sore and the volume of training I need to compete at an elite level means I can’t hold down a regular 9-to-5 job or devote myself to my family. My wife Louise is so supportive and I’m doing this for her as well as for me!” he said.
Chris is seeking sponsors who would be willing to provide a monthly fee in exchange for the visibility and inspiration he can offer. South West company Imagine Cruising is one brand that has started sponsoring Chris this year. In exchange, Chris supports the company by posting about how it benefits him on his Instagram feed, offers meet and greets, and gives talks to employees about his career and his experiences. Next year, he will visit the offices to put on a judo fitness session for the company’s employees.
In addition to the above, Chris can offer potential sponsors space on his ‘judogi’, the uniform used for practice and competition, which would provide international exposure for interested companies.
“I would be so grateful for any sponsorship. It would provide the conditions that will help me be in the best place to achieve my goal of retaining that gold medal. Sponsors will get to enjoy the journey to Paris, becoming part of my sporting family.”
An example sponsorship deal, for £1,000 a month, would provide the following benefits:
- Two visits to your company/premises between now and the Paris 2024 Paralympics to talk about topics around sport, disability and inclusion. Or simply a chance to meet Chris and learn more about his journey.
- A social media post once a month mentioning the brand across social media channels.
- Appropriate branding on clothing or kit, subject to the Paralympic rules.
- A commitment to visit with any medals after Paris 2024.
“This will be my last Paralympics,” said Chris. I want to be able to explore other options, like a career with a 9-to-5 job and having recently married, I definitely want to start a family and, given the rigours of elite-level judo, I want to retire while I can still bend down to pick up my children.”